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tourist zones

Three new international tourist zones have been designated
across France, meaning shops in these locations will be able to open until
midnight on weekdays, as well as on Sundays.

Traditionally, shops located in French towns are restricted
to opening between around 9am and 7pm (closing for two hours for lunch), and do
not open on Sundays.

However, in a bid to boost the local economies and make
tourist locations even more popular to visit, the three towns of Antibes, Dijon
and La Baule have all been added to the list of International Tourist Zones.
All three towns were accepted after an application from the towns’ respective
mayors, a trial period and discussions with employment groups and unions.

In a recent statement, the French government said that each
town matched the necessary criteria required for becoming a tourist zone, which
include “attracting an influx of tourists from outside of France” and “having an international reputation due to commerce,
culture, heritage, or leisure”.

Dijon, located in
central France, is the first non-coastal town to be awarded tourist zone
status, while La Baule is a popular seaside town on the coast of the Pays de la
Loire, near the Brittany border. Antibes, meanwhile, joins another four towns
from the French Riviera on the list.

In total, France now
has 21 tourist zones (or ZTIs, as they are known in French). Twelve of these
alone are located in various parts of Paris, largely in areas with large
shopping centres and train stations. Along the French Riviera, the four other
locations to be designated as tourist zones are Nice, Cannes, Cagnes-sur-Mer
and Saint-Laurent-du-Var. Other tourist zones can be found at Deauville, on the
coast of Normandy, and the Val d’Europe shopping complex, east of Paris.

If you’re looking to enjoy a spot of shopping during your
stay at our luxury French gites, the good news is that even more French
locations than ever are opening their stores for longer.

Image: gaikokujin-kun,
available under Creative Commons

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