French and Riviera News Wednesday 24th August 2022

Local News

Proposal to crack down on private jets raises concerns - A proposal by France's transport minister to crack down on private jet flights has raised concern among tourism professionals on the Riviera. Clément Beaune said he was ready to “act and regulate private jet flights” if necessary and would push the issue of private jets at an upcoming European transport ministers meeting in October. Among the measures being considered is requiring private jet companies to make environmental commitments - including a possible carbon quota system. France reportedly has the highest number of private jet movements in Europe, with super-rich owners jetting into Paris and the French Riviera. Here on the Riviera, three airports welcome private jets: Nice, Cannes-Mandelieu and La Môle in Saint-Tropez. At Nice, about 100 private jets take off and land every day and the airport says business travel has returned to its pre-pandemic levels. Nice is the third most popular destination for private jets in the world, after London and New York. They account for four out of 10 aircraft movements at Nice Côte d'Azur airport. In Cannes and Saint-Tropez they represent almost 100% of air traffic. Private flights have a carbon footprint per passenger up to 50 times greater than a commercial flight. On the other hand, private jet charter on the Riviera is an important contributor to the local economy. According to a recent study by Nice Côte d'Azur airport, the average private jet traveller spends almost €1,400 per day when visiting the Côte d'Azur - that's 12 times more than the average visitor on a commercial flight.

Man arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking - A young man in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin has been arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking after it's claimed he hid a stash of drugs at his grandmother's home. Police found almost 5kg of cannabis resin and almost 600 grams of cocaine, plus €1,600 in cash, when they raided the grandmother's property. The man was remanded in custody. His brother, who is also alleged to have been involved in the operation, wasn't detained but will also face trial. The hearing is due for 28th September.

Seaside towns experimenting with beach bins - Two seaside towns in the Var have been experimenting with removing bins from their beaches - and they say it's a success. Saint-Cyr took the decision last summer along a 250-metre stretch of coast as the sight of overflowing bins on the beach was an eyesore. Instead, larger bins have been placed on the promenade, by the steps leading down to the beach, and in nearby car parks. Bormes-les-Mimosas has done the same. The mayors of both municipalities say the feedback from visitors has been positive.

Successful summer for museums in Nice - It's been a successful summer for museums in Nice. Early results suggest the post-Covid recovery is well under way, with visitor numbers up 40% on last year. The Masséna museum's attendance figures are up 60% over the same period - and the Matisse museum has welcomed 65,000 visitors so far this season, which is a record. It comes as tourists return to the Riviera en masse. Another contributing factor is the hot weather, which has pushed many visitors to seek air-conditioned indoor activities.

First-aiders touring coastline - First-aiders in France are completing a tour of the country’s coastline with a visit to the Riviera this week. They'll be providing free training sessions to introduce people to basic first-aid gestures including how to perform a cardiac massage or put on a tourniquet. The Protection Civile volunteers set off from Calais on 1st July and have passed along the Channel coast, down the Atlantic seafront and along the Med. So far more than 3,000 people have benefited from the awareness-raising sessions. You'll find them today in Menton on the Esplanade Francis Palmero between 9am and 5pm. Tomorrow they're in Cagnes-sur-Mer, on Place Saint-Pierre, and on Friday they finish their tour on the Rague beach in Mandelieu. They say with more extreme weather becoming common, including forest fires and storms, it's everyone's responsibility to have some basic first-aid knowledge.

Elton John on Ile Sainte-Marguerite - Elton John's collaboration with Britney Spears isn't due to be released until Friday. But diners at a restaurant on the Ile Sainte-Marguerite, off Cannes, had a chance to hear it by surprise yesterday - with Elton John himself present. He turned up at La Guérite, where a DJ played the new song - and he sang along during the impromptu concert. The song is called Hold Me Closer and it's based on his hit Tiny Dancer.


Elon Mu