After 83 days of closure, the palace of Versailles has opened its doors on the 6th of June last. Versailles is now deserted by foreign tourists and it’s only happened once in the history of the castle. “It only happened that once at the time of the declaration of the Second world War.
A event which could not be anticipated and that gives a lot to reflect on what we need to be,” says on RTL Catherine Pégard, president of the public establishment of the château de Versailles.
She explains the economic impact is disastrous for the castle. “It is all of our model that collapsed because we had 80% of foreign tourists”, she says. Financially “we do not find at all, it is necessary to find another economic model, and in the meantime we are going to be very much dependent on the support of the State“says the chairperson of the castle. “It has lost around 45 million euros“since the containment, provides Catherine Pégard.
10,000 visitors per day, compared to 30,000 in usually
In fact, the monument now receives around 10,000 visitors per day, compared to 30,000 in usually. They are almost exclusively French with the arrival of a few Europeans. “Today, for our French visitors, we need to renew our offer and show them that they must rediscover Versailles”, she says.
She says that, with the Covid-19, “there must be the question of the reception of all these visitors and today reformulate a model different from the requirement imposed on us by this virus”. Catherine Pégard evokes “an obsession with health that has become an obsession of all times”.