New law on store openings on Sunday meant to woo US tourists

Funny. I can’t imagine the fact that stores are closed on Sunday to be a reason not to stay an extra day in Paris, but I guess some people must be shopping all the time. As a student, I resented the Sunday closings because it just meant so much more to pack into a Saturday, but now I treasure the idea of one day where everyone is forced to really take the day off. No “Honey-do” lists, no grocery shopping, and less stuff to fill the void in our souls, but rather a long day of family meals and walks in the park. TV, of course has ruined some of that nothing-to-do feeling already, but it’s more than a bit sad to see the French put one more nail in the coffin of true leisure, which many of us has felt was at the very core of spending time in Europe.

Paris is counting on American tourists — and a new law allowing more stores to open on Sundays — to boost tourism revenues pinched by the global financial downturn.

The French capital registered an 11.1-percent drop in foreign visitors in the first half of this year compared with the first half of 2008, according to figures released Wednesday by the Paris Tourism Office.

The number of Americans in Paris — long the largest contingent of foreigners here — dived last year because of U.S. economic woes and the expensive euro. But it started to pick up again, by 1.1 percent, in the second quarter of this year, the tourism office said.

[From The Associated Press: Paris hopes Americans boost flagging tourism]

Alas, again, it’s the Americans’ fault and hopes that we’ll come here in greater numbers for the shopping.

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