Public holidays fall on different days all over the world, but Christmas Day and Good Friday dare universal.
GV St. Peter's Square Rome
SV Sightseers in Square
SV People in horse and carriage
SCU PAN FROM "Rhein" steamer to passengers embarking (3 shots)
SV Steamer preparing to leave
SV & GV Steamer leaves quay and sails up river (2)
SV Traffic in Champs Elysee
Gv Orly airport and planes on tarmac (2 shots)
GV & SVs People waiting outside tourists offices (2)
SV & GV Sign outside hotel (2)
SVs Hotels in Paris (5 shots)
GV PAN Sightseers boarding "Golden Hind" on Thames near Tower Bridge
SV PAN Sightseers on boat ZOOM OUT TO Tower Bridge
GV Sightseers at London Zoo
SV People looking at Rhinoceros and lion (3 shots)
Initials 2141 SC/2219
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Public holidays fall on different days all over the world, but Christmas Day and Good Friday dare universal.
This year, Good Friday fell on the 12th of April, Rome and the Vatican City attracted their usual big crowd of Roman Catholics and people of other religions. They were there for the traditional Easter services, which began with the Holy Friday Liturgy, and included the late-night Mass in St. Peter's Basilica on Saturday (13th April). The Pope - who was due to officiate at both services - did not attend, apparently to avoid overstrain after two recent bouts of illness. But poor health was not going to stop him delivering his Easter Sunday message to the world.
Good Friday in Paris saw quiet chaos for tourists. A strike over tipping by barmen, chambermaids, receptionists and lift operators meant that many luxury cit hotels were paralysed. Other worked with reduced staffs, and were forced to turn away many would-be clients. Flights into Paris were interrupted by a strike by Air France pilots. On Friday and Thursday (11th April) flights leaving and arriving at Orly Airport were drastically cut.
Good weather favoured tourists and holiday makers in West Germany. Many took a leisurely trip down the Rhine. Pleasure boat owners started their schedule earlier this year because of the weather. The routes from Wiesbaden and Mainz to Cologne were particularly popular. News from the Frankfurt money markets was not encouraging for the tourists. On Thursday, speculation that Wet Germany might revalue the Mark sent the value of the U.S. dollar down.
Money was a problem for visitors to London, too. Just before the holiday, sterling suffered heavy losses on foreign exchange markets, as a result of further declines in London interest rates. But the spring surge of tourists into London has begun, and it looks like the tourism figures this summer will compare favourably to 1973's. Bad weather on Good Friday deterred a lot of would-be sightseers, but the Thames still attracted many visitors. The Regent's Park Zoo - with its fresh crop of baby animals - was also a good crowd-puller.