Rural France prepares for summer tourism post-Covid-19

The little village of Sainte-Enimie at the entrance of the Gorges du Tarn - in Lozère, one of the departments preparing for summer tourism

Rural areas of France are preparing to welcome tourists over the summer, as their relatively low population density and open spaces make them ideal destinations as the country remains cautious over Covid-19.

Departments such as Creuse (Nouvelle-Aquitaine), Lozère (Occitanie) and Nièvre (‎Bourgogne-Franche-Comté) are expecting to be especially popular, a report by newspaper Le Figaro has said.

The preparations come as both President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Edouard Philippe urge the public to restrict their holidays to France this summer, as deconfinement measures continue.

Read more: French PM: ‘Public can holiday in France’ this summer

Read more: Macron: ‘Too early to say’ if summer holidays possible

Lozère, in particular, is the least-densely-populated department in France, with 14.83 inhabitants per square kilometre, versus 20,755 in Paris.

Similarly, these departments were relatively less-affected by Covid-19: just one person has died of the virus in Lozère, and five in Creuse.

One director of the tourist office in Mende, Lozère, Cyril Duclot, told newspaper Le Figaro: “During confinement, visits to our Internet site exploded. It’s less risky to travel in a car and to sleep in a gîte in the middle of the countryside, than it is to take a plane and go to a hotel.”

Similarly, ...

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