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Travel

Paris boosts funds for Eiffel Tower upgrade

Olympics candidate Paris announced a 45 percent increase in funding to upgrade the Eiffel Tower as it gears up its bid to host the 2024 Olympics.

Mayor Anne Hidalgo wants to "highlight the Eiffel Tower even further, to make it a flawless showcase of the Parisian welcome," city hall said in a statement. The announcement comes as the city is competing with Budapest and Los Angeles to host the 2024 Olympic Games. The French capital is also bidding for the 2025 World Expo.

Officials are looking into better ways to manage visitor flows, reduce waiting times and protect queuers from the elements, the city's tourism chief Jean-Francois Martins told. The monument's scintillating nightly light show will also be updated.

The Eiffel Tower plan, to be submitted for approval to the city council at the end of the month, includes stepping up security, modernising ticketing facilities and improving the visitor experience. 

The 15-year plan is now projected to cost 300 million euros ($318 million) overall, for an annual outlay of 20 million euros, up from 13.7 million euros.

The Eiffel Tower, inaugurated for the 1889 equivalent of the World Expo, is the world's most visited paying monument, taking in some six million visitors each year. 

isi/at (AFP)