Saturday, December 29, 2007

Paris for business, travel and leisure

Paris is a great city to visit. Not only for leisure, but for business too. It is also famous for its fashion and perfumes too. And add the honor of being the "Romance Capital of the World" and also the "The City of Light". The name "Paris" has something to it - something that perhaps one will describe as charisma. Just imagine, Disneyland Resort when it was first started was named "Euro Disney Resort". Nothing romantic or alluring to its name. Sounds more like something connected to the European currency, and the resort was losing money, with attendance, hotel occupancy and revenues falling below projections. When it was renamed "Disneyland Paris", it reported its first profit. Wonder if the fame of Paris Hilton has more to do with the name Paris or the name Hilton. I think the first as Paris is better known all over the world than Hilton. What is Hilton anyway. Just a hotel chain.

Paris as a business center

Paris is a major business center of Europe and of the world. Just imagine, the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of Paris alone is bigger than that of the whole of Australia, a continent country. La Défense, with its 150,000 daily workers and 3.5 million square meters of office space, is Europe's largest central business district (CBD). Euronext in Paris is the second largest stock exchange in Europe. The headquarter of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is located in Paris. The European Business School Paris (EBS) is also located in Paris.

Paris as a center for education, Science, and culture

Paris is well known as a center for education, Science, and culture, and it is fitting that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) be located in Paris, its capital city. There are other centers like the Académie Colarossi, Académie Julian, Académie Ranson, Académie de peinture et de sculpture, Académie des Beaux-Arts and Amphitheatre Anglais.

Paris, Romance Capital of the World, City of Lights, favorites of tourists

The above is a photo which almost every person currently on earth will recognize as the Eiffel Tower of Paris. It is in fact the icon for Paris. To many people, Eiffel Tower = Paris. And yet when its designer engineer, Gustave Eiffel, first proposed the plans for the tower to Barcelona for the Universal Exposition of 1888, the Consistory of Barcelona rejected it. What is Barcelona loss is now Paris gain, but not without controversy. Eiffel submitted his plans to those responsible for the Universal Exhibition in Paris and it was built in 1889. However, many in Paris then opposed its construction and considered it an eyesore. It is now one of the biggest tourist draw in the world and in fact was chosen as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A visit to Paris is never complete without a visit to Eiffel Tower and a ride in the lift to the top for a spectacular of Paris's skyline.

But Eiffel Tower is not the only structure that draw tourist to Paris like bees to honey. There is Disneyland Paris and the Louvre, a museum which houses, among other things, the famous Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci and the Glass Pyramid designed by world famous Chinese architect, I.M. Pei. The Arc de Triomphe is also a major attraction. You can climb to the top for beautiful view of Paris. And don't forget the Champs-Élysées, one of the most expensive piece of real estate in the world. You can also take a cruise on the scenic Seine River that flows through the middle of Paris or just stroll along its beautiful riverside. If you like ancient churches, there is the Notre-Dame Cathedral. The Moulin Rouge with its high kicking Can-Can dancers is another major tourist draw.

I have visited some but not all the places mentioned above when I went on a one day visit to Paris. Some obviously cannot be covered in a brief one-day visit, others were not built yet. I would like to go back again, but this time for a longer visit.

Hunting for accommodation only on arrival is a risky business and uses up your expensive time. A much better idea is to book accommodation ahead of arrival using one of the accommodation online booking websites like Paris Hotels. The French are very proud of their language and I should know having visited Paris and being a student in Dutch and French speaking Belgium for over 2 years. They would probably prefer you to refer to that website as Paris Hôtels. The Spanish, the French neighbour, I think will refer to the same website as París Hoteles

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