Paris, considered by many as the ‘most romantic city in the world’, remains a favoured Valentine’s Day destination, despite militant attacks in the past years that have raised security fears among tourists.
A typical day for lovers may involve strolling along the River Seine, climbing the Eiffel Tower and taking in the sights of the ‘city of love’.
“This evening – dinner, then a tour around the museums, the typical things you do in Paris,” Italian tourist Fabio, who is in Paris with his partner Sylvia, told Reuters TV.
The city’s popular romantic spots continue to draw visitors, such as couple Shane and Chantelle from Hawaii, who fastened a lock bearing their names on the Pont Neuf bridge and then threw the key into the Seine.
“It’s a little romantic thing in Paris that we can do,” Shane said.
The city’s patisseries and chocolatiers have also been busy this Valentine’s season.
Angelina, where the hot chocolate and pastries are reportedly worth the long queue, has created a special Valentine’s treat called the “Idyll”.
“It’s a crispy biscuit in honey, with lemon cream, vanilla mousse, strawberry sauce, and fresh raspberries. The outer layer is made of white chocolate, and the rose is also made of white chocolate,” Angelina store manager Sandra Goutorbe said.
The 7.10-euro ($7.50) concoction has been selling out since it went on display on February 10, and Angelina had easily offloaded 100 pieces on Valentine’s Day.
“It sells well, I think, because it matches the colours and the flavors of Valentine’s Day. It’s a product that we have only once a year, it becomes a bit like an event, and it draws in more sales of the product,” Goutorbe said.
The chocolate shop Jean-Paul Hevin, on the posh Rue Saint-Honore, has also fabricated ornate offerings for Valentine’s Day.
A “lace heart” chocolate, which is sold for up to 49 euros ($52), is their classic Valentine’s item, this year designed with a red bow.
France, which is looking to boost its weak economic growth, depends heavily on tourism, which generates 7.4 percent of national gross domestic product and employs 2 million people.
It is still the most-visited country in the world, with almost 85 million foreigners though French hoteliers have faced tough times as foreign tourists stayed away from Paris and the Riviera last year after Islamist militant attacks.