Open Tour Paris is resuming service in the capital under the new name Tootbus Paris
Paris, 15June - Open Tour Paris, a subsidiary of RATP Dev and long-standing operator of tourist buses in the French capital, is announcing some changes as it reopens to the public on June 17.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic and its severe impact on the tourism industry, Open Tour Paris is getting back to business with a renewed energy: a new brand, a new offer, a new application, and a wholly renewed fleet of buses that are now powered by electricity or bio-NGV. This strategy is very much focused on the city and aims to reforge the connection with tourists and Parisians alike.
OPEN TOUR PARIS HAS TRANSFORMED INTO TOOTBUS PARIS, A REBRANDING THAT REPRESENTS A RENEWED AMBITION
Open Tour Paris is now associated with our sightseeing services in Bath, Bristol, and London under the shared brand of Tootbus. The launch of this new identity underlines two main areas of focus for RATP Dev’s sightseeing business, which has been overhauled over recent months:
• Firstly, a desire to embody a new positioning at the heart of the city and the role that Tootbus wishes to play in it. From the outset, the company has striven to be more than just a “transport provider”, but a real player in the tourism and entertainment sector, committed to creating unforgettable experiences for our customers.
• Secondly, after a year-long pause due to COVID-19, we will be resuming our tourist bus operations under new conditions: o We will offer advanced digital services to simplify and improve the customer experience. For instance, passengers can download our audio guide in the form of a podcast at any time from the Tootbus mobile application (available from the App Store and Google Play).
o Adapting the offer to better meet the needs of a more locally-based and family-oriented clientele. One of the new services is the “Kids Tour”; a fun, educational, and ecological way for children to learn about the French capital. We also have a “Paris by Night” tour that immerses visitors in the magic and romance of the City of Light after sunset. In light of the current circumstances, tourists can also take advantage of Tootbus as an “outdoor museum” experience on board an open-top bus; an added incentive to step off the beaten track in Paris and around France to see more than just the usual attractions. This newly designed offer has been crafted with tourists in mind, obviously, but also Parisians, as there will doubtless be greater numbers of them out enjoying their own city this summer.
Of course, all these services are provided fully in line with the health precautions issued by the authorities.
“LET THE CITY TAKE YOU BY SURPRISE”
This new identity comes with a promise to passengers: “Let the city take you by surprise”. For international tourists and French visitors alike, discovering or rediscovering the city is an experience in itself. “The open-top bus tour is often a visitor’s first experience of the city. It is a way for them to delve into the atmosphere of a new city, to understand its geography, to associate images with place names, and to get a better idea of its cultural, social, and economic richness. Our role is to help visitors forge memories and connections with a city that can be seen afresh each time through the experiences offered,” said Benoit Barraud, Managing Director of Tootbus Paris.
A SUSTAINABLE COMMITMENT EMBODIED IN A VERY LOW EMISSION FLEET
To revive the sector and play our part in revitalising the city, operators in the tourism industry must become more sustainable. This is both a societal requirement and a strong draw for customers. It also offers us a distinctive way to welcome visitors. “We have always pursued our strategic growth while bearing in mind the environmental footprint of our business. The very significant investments made since 2018 have resulted in a wholly renewed fleet of buses that are now powered by electricity or bio-NGV. And we have reached this goal three years ahead of the 2024 deadline set by the Paris City Council for the banning of diesel under its Climate Plan,” explained Arnaud Masson, Executive Director of RATP Dev’s Sightseeing business line. In this unprecedented situation, Tootbus Paris is offering, from 17 June, an original tour of the capital on board a fleet of 15 double-decker buses with very low emissions, including 9 electric buses and 6 that are powered by bio-NGV.
About Open Tour Paris Created in 1998, Open Tour Paris was the first French company to import the concept of a regular city tour on open-top doubledecker buses. To meet evolving consumer demand and satisfy visitors’ desire to freely explore the city, the Open Tour network in Paris gradually expanded to three different routes run by a fleet of 35 buses. That was until our business ground to a halt in March 2020 because of the pandemic. Those three routes visit all the major sights in the French capital. Open Tour is part of the Parisian tourism and leisure sector and offers a hop-on/hop-off guided tour of the city: a single ticket that is valid for one, two, or three consecutive days. This gives tourists a way to take in the most interesting sights in the capital and visit them at their own pace by hopping on or off at any of our 10 bus stops. All our buses are equipped with an automatic ticketing system and an audio-commentary guide with individual headphones.
About RATP Dev Founded in 2002, RATP Dev operates and maintains urban transportation systems in 13 countries on four continents (Egypt, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Switzerland, Algeria, Morocco, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, China, the Philippines, and the United States of America). With more than 1.5 billion passengers travelling on its networks every year, RATP Dev demonstrates every day its extensive and renowned expertise in a wide range of mobility services, ranging from rail, regional express rail, tramway, to bus, cable car, and sightseeing activities. RATP Dev leverages in France, outside of Paris, and across international markets, the technical expertise and experience of RATP Group, the leader in driverless and tramway operations and operator of the Paris network, one of the largest public transportation networks in the world.
More information: www.ratpdev.com