Of course Britons are welcome, say French tourism workers

French tourism operators deny that Britons are not welcome as travel corridor opens up - despite a poll this week claiming that most French people (55%) would rather they stayed away.

10 July 2020
Britons are welcome to come, French campsites say
By Liv Rowland

With a ‘travel corridor’ finally opening today between the UK and France – so no more quarantine requirements – tourists will be free to come and go. However a YouGov poll has showed that 55% of French people polled ‘opposed’ having tourists from Britain this year, linked to fears of high rates of Covid-19 in the UK.

Only Americans (69%) and Chinese (68%) faced higher levels of opposition from the French, the poll found.

In the same poll 45% of Britons ‘opposed’ having French tourists. The poll also showed that while 21% of Britons would consider a holiday in France this year, only 5% of French people would consider going to the UK. Some 1,137 people were polled in France and 1,610 in the UK, out of 10 countries in all.

Few British bookings for French holidays so far

The Connexion spoke to the reception desks at several large French campsites in popular holiday areas, who told us bookings from Britons had so far been very scarce this year – however they said they are welcome to come nonetheless.

At the Camping Le Grand Large in Normandy, Nathalie said: “We’d certainly be happy to have them – I don’t see why we shouldn’t, it’s not as if we’ve necessarily done things so well in France [with regard to the coronavirus].

“But we’ve got no British clients yet, normally we’ve got loads of them.

“I think if there’s no more quarantine it will help a bit but there will still be lots that won’t come because they’re afraid.”

Catherine at the Claire de Lune in the Var said: “If they had reserved they could have come with pleasure . We’ve had no British yet, but we’ve certainly not been refusing them.”

Mattheiu, at Les Vignes d’Or in the Hérault said: “We are happy to have clients of all nationalities, whether European or Asian or American, or from Australia. All reservations are welcome in our establishment. At the moment we have a lot of Belgians reserving, but few Britons.”

Transport firms welcome UK/France travel corridor

Transport companies have meanwhile welcomed the opening up of the travel corridor.

A spokesman for Britanny Ferries said they have certainly seen an increase in bookings in connection with this, though some are re-bookings by people whose previous sailings had been cancelled due to the difficulties in the lockdown period.

He added they are aware some people have been struggling to get through on their phone lines, for which they apologise.

A Eurotunnel spokesman said: “The travel corridor is obviously good news. We continue to adapt our timetable. We monitor demand very closely and will increase the timetable as demand increases.”

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