PARIS GAMES: Torrential rain did not dampen enthusiasm in Paris as the City of Light celebrated clinching its bid to host the Olympic Games in 2024.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who teared up at Wednesday’s official announcement by the International Olympic Committee, said she expects the Games to generate 10.7 billion euros in revenues and create 250,000 jobs between now and the start of the event.
“It’ll bring employment and economic growth,” said Hidalgo, speaking on French radio station France Inter on Thursday.
Equipped with rain ponchos and umbrellas, a crowd gathered for a Boulevard Haussmann street party organized by Printemps and Galeries Lafayette on Wednesday night. The rival department stores teamed with local officials and other businesses for the #HaussmannParis event that featured sports tournaments and food trucks.
The expected windfall comes as welcome news to the city, which is finally seeing improving tourist numbers, following its loss to London for the 2012 Games.
The win was all but certain after the IOC in August struck a deal with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to host the games in his city in 2028.
French President Emmanuel Macron, who actively promoted the bid, including participating in sports events organized along the Seine river, emphasized security.
“These Olympic Games will be extraordinary, surprising and festive, but will also be an exemplary Games as regards budget management, environmental and social impact, and security,” he said in a statement.
Tourism in France jumped 10 percent in the second quarter, according to French statistics agency INSEE. The rise more than compensated for the sharp drop-off in visitors a year ago, when tourists were spooked by a string of terrorist attacks.