According to high estimates, the Paris Tourist Office anticipates around 15.9 million cumulative visitors over the period of the 2024 Olympics. A total which should increase the occupancy rate of commercial accommodation to 82.6%, compared to 61.3% in normal times. The city will be bursting at the seams, and many Parisians have already planned to desert it to avoid overcrowded transport and the possible increase in consumer prices. But there are visitors that the organizers did not anticipate: harmful animals and insects. According to Le Parisien, ten months before the event, professionals in charge of pest regulation in Paris fear the multiplication of pests in the Ile-de-France region, linked to the season, heat, waste and travel. Stéphane Bras, spokesperson for the CS3D, the union of professionals dealing with these pests, even predicts for Le Parisien an “explosive cocktail” next July and August.
While many hotels are already taking the lead, this is less the case for Ile-de-France residents, 20% of whom plan to rent their apartment on Airbnb in order to take advantage of the period. “The Olympic Games are an accelerator for many things. A problem, it is also one for the less good ones. The risk of having pests at home will be increased, but above all, it will last beyond of the Games”, warns Stéphane Bras who anticipates for Paris “health problems and vector-borne diseases which will lead to image defects (…) wait until Chinese or Americans are bitten in Paris, the repercussions that this is going to have…”
Well aware of the problem, the town hall has already organized meetings, particularly on the issue of waste which attracts pests. “We work on a daily basis to ensure that cleanliness goes well in Paris, but the idea is to go further for the Games by finding the most effective ways to cope with a massive influx of visitors over such a long period. “we explain to Le Parisien. “The summer of 2024 will be a special summer, and the City’s services are coordinating so that this problem is controlled as best as possible.” Here are the pests that could spoil the Games.