Friday, September 24, 2021

Summer travel ideas


Shopping in a quaint French village
July 2021 590

With travel to Europe returning over the summer, there is no reason to hold back from a bit of outlet shopping and hobnobbing with the locals in a quaint village setup. Home to over 110 premium and luxury brands, The Village, a one-of-a-kind outlet village in France’s Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region is known for its unique architecture, and year-round discounts ranging from -30 per cent to -70 per cent.

“In The Village, we wanted to create a showcase for fashion and gastronomy in the heart of this region, which is one of the most dynamic region in Europe, by rethinking the outlet model. Today, we want our visitors to come for the brands and their discounts, but return for the venue!” said Philippe Journo, President of Phalsbourg. “We wanted to deliver the four pillars on which our vision is based: exceptional architecture, an exceptional environmental quality, constant attention to customer well-being and a digital service. This is the model we have applied to The Village.”

Designed by Italian architect and designer Gianni Ranaulo, the outlet stands out for its architectural quality. It comprises 78 buildings, which are unique worldwide, entirely made of timber and clad with white glass façades and roofs. At the heart of The Village is an artificial lake surrounded by terraces of restaurants and shops. The landscape is home to almost 750 trees and 460,000 plants and shrubs.

Sophie Vaissellet, French and international Tourism manager of The Village, assures TTN that the services offered are over and beyond the traditional shopping villages. “We are not your ordinary, run-of-the-mill shopping village. First of all, we have only one village and we have made sure it appeals to the high-net-worth clientele. Our services include a three-tiered loyalty programme, providing access to exclusive lounges and additional discounts; valet parking, centralised tax refund, multilingual shopping assistants, a butler service and a helicopter transfer service. The Village is also the world’s first phygital outlet combining physical, digital and experiential.”

Ideally located, 15 minutes from Lyon’s Saint Exupéry airport and the TGV station, 30 minutes from the centre of Lyon, 1h15 from Geneva. So, get, set, shop!

TRAVEL TO FRANCE

France reopened its borders for overseas travellers on June 9 to fully vaccinated travellers with vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) – Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. Other travellers may enter too, but it has to be one of the compelling reasons established by the French authorities. Both types of travellers will have to undergo PCR tests. Most countries of the Middle East are classified as orange, except Lebanon (as green) and Bahrain (as red). Fully vaccinated travellers are currently approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and a negative PCR test of less than 72 hours or a negative antigen test of less than 48 hours on boarding is required. There is a random antigenic test upon arrival in France. Unvaccinated visitors from orange countries must complete a seven-day of self-isolation upon arrival in France, while unvaccinated visitors from red countries will be subject to a mandatory ten-day quarantine supervised by security forces.  







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