France Has Lots More Reasons to Visit in 2012

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Once again I took the Megabus down to NYC, this time it cost me just $25.50 roundtrip. My reason for a Big Apple visit was a presentation by French Tourism about what’s new in France for 2012. France has a lot to crow about in the tourism world, even while the whole European economy feels the heat from their less successful countries Greece, Italy and Portugal.

Despite the clouds on the horizon, France’s tourism numbers are still stellar–they get the most of any country with 78 million visitors a year. I remember once an Italian tourism honcho claiming that France benefits in this because to get to Italy, many travelers have to drive through France. But they still have this impressive record since the ’90s.

The event used video to tell the story of what was new in the country. They had close-up videos of the tourism officials and press people speaking about the highlights of Midi-Pyrenees, Rhone-Alpes and Provence. Behind the close up faces were the impressive sights of France…such a beautiful country, and lots of pouring of ruby pink rose wine to make us thirsty.

The Louvre-Lens museum, set to open in April 2012 in Northern France.
The Louvre-Lens museum, set to open in April 2012 in Northern France.

In 2012, the Louvre is set to open a regional branch way up north in the small town of Lens. This new Louvre-Lens will display the works from each of the Paris museum’s departments, opening with 300 masterpieces of the Louvre. The Louvre itself will add a new glass structure in the Visconti Courtyard to house a new Islamic wing.

Mont-St-Michel, the beloved and popular island and commune off Normandy’s coast will be getting a little help. Silt from the rivers over the years has made getting there difficult, and three million visitors come each year. A new visitor’s center on the mainland and an electric shuttle will make getting there a lot easier after April 2012.