POSTED: July 13th 2016

Paris 2024: UEFA EURO 2016 a boost to France's hosting capabilities and tourism impact

The Eiffel Tower Fan Zone for UEFA EURO 2016 © @LaTourEiffel Twitter
The Eiffel Tower Fan Zone for UEFA EURO 2016 © @LaTourEiffel Twitter

Fan turn out was good © Paris 2024
Fan turn out was good © Paris 2024

The Eiffel Tower was even lit up in the colors of the two teams in the finale © @LaTourEiffel Twitter
The Eiffel Tower was even lit up in the colors of the two teams in the finale © @LaTourEiffel Twitter

LAURA WALDEN (USA) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) The UEFA EURO 2016 football cup proved to put another feather in France's cap boosting capital city Paris' bid to host the 2024 summer Olympics. The success of the event also dispelled tourism worries after the horrific terrorist shootings last November.

The month long football tournament welcomed more than 1.2 million people to the iconic Eiffel Tower Fan Zone and the city of Paris reported that included 70% French visitors and 30% foreigners. More than 3,100 journalists broadcasting to 100 million viewers in more than 100 countries images and footage of the Fan Zones celebrations. A survey of the general public also showed a 92% satisfaction rate of the venue.

The event was held safely and securely in 10 cities across France with Paris and neighboring suburb Saint-Denis hosting 12 matches including the final at the 80,000 capacity Stade de France.

If Paris is selected, Saint-Denis will be home to the main Olympic Stadium, the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, a new, state-of-the-art Olympic Aquatics Centre and the Athlete and Media Villages - creating a new Olympic sports hub. 

"The City of Paris and the whole of France can be very proud of the tournament we have delivered and the way in which the country has embraced and celebrated this wonderful festival of sport," said Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo. "The organization of the tournament has been outstanding and I would like to congratulate UEFA and the Local Organizing Committee for their first-class work. 

"It was a true honor to welcome fans to Paris from across Europe and to see the city come alive with color, passion, anticipation and excitement. Throughout the month long tournament we have seen the true Parisian spirit of joy and inclusivity and it would be wonderful to replicate the carnival atmosphere and elite sporting action during the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris in 2024."

Jean-François Martins, Deputy Mayor of Paris for Sport and Tourism, "Paris perfectly took up the challenge. Parisians showed a strong resilience spirit. We not only demonstrated our ability to welcome this amazing event, but also to make it festive and popular without major incidents."

A good 400,000 people also enjoyed 84 events across Paris that formed part of a cultural program ran by the city flanking the tournament.

Paris 2024 Co-Chairman, Bernard Lapasset, added, "I would like to congratulate UEFA and the Local Organizing Committee for putting on a hugely successful EURO 2016 and a fantastic celebration of football that has touched the nation. Every host city played its own unique part and it has been wonderful to see fans across the country showing their passion and love for sport. 

"France already has a first-class track record in hosting major sports events and the successful EURO is further evidence of the country's exceptional hosting capabilities. The excitement and celebrations that we have seen in full to capacity stadia and fan zones has been truly inspirational. Paris 2024 aims to harness the passion and desire for live sport in France and channel this energy into our bid to deliver an unforgettable Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2024."

Tourism Impact

The positive hosting  experience brought Paris' tourism frequency back to where it was before the November attacks.

Deputy Mayor Martins noted, "June 2016's number of visitors even should be superior by 1 to 2% to June 2015's.

The rise is obviously stronger for European visitors: "this is very good news because they represent close markets. Some of them may not be very used to Paris, but they can go there very quickly with low-cost travels, and therefore they are likely to visit again."

The City of Paris' posts on social networks also totaled more than 17 million views and Google reported that the search term 'visit Paris' reached its highest level for in two years.

"This indicator shows that UEFA EURO 2016 will have a positive effect on hotel bookings all 2016 long and even beyond," concluded Jean-François Martins.

**LAURA WALDEN has over twenty-five years of experience in the Olympic Movement, formerly at the European Olympic Committees with SportEurope under former IOC President Dr. Jacques Rogge and IOC Member Mario Pescante. She worked with the Rome 2004 and Turin 2006 Olympic bids and also managed PR & media for Dr. Jacques Rogge during his campaign for the presidency.

Keywords · Olympics · Paris 2024

For more information contact:
Laura Walden ()

All original materials contained in this section are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Sports Features Communications, Inc the owner of that content. It is prohibited to alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.