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France Travel News 05/03/2011

  • Air France 447 data recorder retrieved from the Atlantic

    With a news heavy weekend of royal weddings and Osama bin Laden’s death, the discovery of Air France 447’s data recorder 13,000 feet under the Atlantic was almost looked over.

    Original article on Galavanting:

  • How France Became The #2 Market For Groupon

    France is now Groupon's #1 European market and #2 worldwide. How did this happen?

  • New French laws may hurt small stores

    France is home to more than 80,000 independent retailers, more than twice the number in the UK, including 40,000 boulangeries and more than 7,000 charcuteries. It is no accident that the flood of specialist shop closures seen in the UK has not been mirrored in France, and it is nothing to do with the French love of fine food. Until recently, the expansionist ambitions of home-grown supermarket chains like Carrefour and Casino have been thwarted by the country's tough planning regime. But Simon Chinn, a French retail consultant at Verdict Research, says there could be trouble in store for the small shopkeepers of France.

  • French K-pop fans demand extra concerts

    Hundreds of French fans rallied in front of the Louvre Museum in Paris on Sunday to demand an extension of a Korean pop concert that sold out in 15 minutes. Some 300 young people picketed and danced to Korean pop tunes for over an hour, demanding that the concert scheduled for June 10 be extended by one day.

  • In at the deep end

    Over the 2010-11 summer holidays, I decided to sacrifice my summer break to take a three-month exchange to France. I pictured this experience as an extended holiday, with the added bonus of speaking fluent French afterwards. And with four years studying French at school, I thought I'd be off to a good start. But when I stepped off the plane to be greeted by my host mum – a woman who could fit more words into one greeting than I thought possible – I realised I had been thrown in at the deep end.

  • British are Least Informed About Foreign Tipping

    For most North Americans, tipping is an automatic reaction while paying for many services. Even when traveling in countries where tipping is not customary, it’s hard not to. It’s so ingrained in culture that it feels expected (even when service is less than adequate). So what about for the reverse? When people from countries that don’t tip as much as a standard practice visit countries that do? Do they make themselves aware? According to The Telegraph, Britons are the worst among Europeans at educating themselves on foreign tipping practices.

  • Marianne Faithfull receives cultural award in France

    The singer and actress was awarded the Commadeur Of L’Ordre Des Arts Et Des Lettres (Commander Of The Arts And Letters) by the French Minister of Culture, Frederic Mitterrand. The award is given to people who have contributed to the "enrichment of the French cultural inheritance". In a statement she said: "I am very, very grateful to be honoured. Since I started coming to Paris in 1964, the French have welcomed me and been very loving." Previous recipients include Patti Smith and Michael Caine.

  • Four New Airbus A380s in Production

    What a great areal shot. Here you have four Airbus A380s at Toulouse, France. They will be delivered to Qantas, Emirates, Korean Air and China Southern.

  • Un-Rooted Boomers Take Root in France

    Anne-Marie Simons worked for more than 30 years in the United States, mostly in the Washington DC area. In 1997, her husband had an opportunity to take early retirement from a career in international development banking and they decided to go in search of the ideal place to retire. They'd long enjoyed traveling in France where Provence, with its mountains, beaches, ancient cities, remote villages, glitzy resorts, culture and leisure became their favorite destination. But did they really want to LIVE there for the rest of their lives?

  • Growth for French hotel industry

    Business travellers fuelled a return to growth in the French hotel industry in 2010, but stays at upscale accommodation have not fully recovered to pre-crisis levels. France, which attracts more foreign visitors than any other country in the world, saw 192.2 million overnight hotel stays in 2010, a rise of 2.2 percent, with business travellers accounting for nearly 90 percent of the growth, according to government statistics office INSEE. That recouped some of the losses from 2009, when overnight hotel stays dropped 4.9 percent, but the industry remains below the levels of 2008, when France received some 197.6 million overnight hotel stays.

  • On DVD ‘Gaumont Treasures, Vol. 2, 1908-1916’

    TWO years ago Kino International offered “Gaumont Treasures: 1897-1913,” a three-disc set adapted from a superb seven-disc collection, “Gaumont: Le Cinéma Premier,” issued by the French studio that is probably the oldest continuing filmmaking concern in the world. Gaumont struck again with a second volume, and now Kino has imported and adapted that anthology under the title “Gaumont Treasures, Vol. 2, 1908-1916.” For anyone interested in how the movies came to be what they are, it’s essential viewing.

  • French police told to stop drinking on the job

    Riot police in France have described as “absurd” measures to stop them drinking alcohol on the job. Members of the CRS, which is called up to deal with internal unrest in the country, have until now been allowed to drink a beer or a glass of wine with their lunch. But after several officers were photographed swigging beers during a student protest last October, management has responded by issuing a blanket ban on the consumption of any alcohol during working hours.

  • France gives green light for absinthe revival

    Absinthe, the drink that inspired artists and poets from Vincent van Gogh to Arthur Rimbaud, looks set to return to its spiritual home after French lawmakers reversed the country’s century-old ban against the drink known as the “green fairy”. Assuming the repeal of the ban, first enacted in 1915, is promulgated next month by Nicolas Sarkozy, France’s teetotal president, producers of the spirit expect a boom in sales.

  • France seeks change to Schengen border agreement

    Italy's decision to grant Tunisians 20,000 temporary residence permits, allowing free travel in the passport-free Schengen zone, has angered France. Last week, French officials temporarily stopped trains with migrants crossing the border from Italy into France. The decision sparked anger between Italy and France, with Italy accusing its neighbour of overstepping the treaty on border-free travel.

  • Quelle difference

    David Lebovitz's ever-amusing take on a French train: "The TGV Lyria train makes the trip to Switzerland is just about three hours. If you buy your tickets in advance, first-class seats aren’t that much more expensive than regular fares (sometimes the difference is little as €5) and as a friend said to me, “Since I don’t use drugs, I spend the extra money on first-class train tickets.” Always worth a read.