Paris is seen by some as a travel destination where a warm welcome can't always be guaranteed, but this may be set to change after the city's tourist board launched a new guide for Parisians on how best to treat tourists.
The leaflet Do You Speak Touriste? is aimed at Parisians working in industries which deal with a lot of tourists, such as those working in Paris hotels, shops, restaurants and taxi firms. The booklet was designed to give guidance to Parisians on how visitors from different countries might like to be spoken to and treated when on holiday in the city. Examples include British travellers preferring to be addressed by their first names and Brazilian visitors preferring a more "tactile" approach.
Other insights on the complexities of international relations include how Japanese visitors are "discreet but demanding" and may require regular assurance. Chinese visitors were said to choose Paris mainly for its luxury shopping options, and tend to have a very romantic view of the city. Spaniards were said to be keen to find bargains in Paris, while the French themselves were said to be perhaps the most demanding guests, wishing to be treated more like residents than tourists.
"The aim is to fight against the poor reputation for welcome in Paris and the Paris area," explained Jean-Pierre Blat, general director of the Parisian tourist board. "You don't welcome a Japanese tourist the same way as an Italian one. There are codes to take into account, so you have to adapt," he added.
Mr Blat went on to highlight the fact that half of visitors to Paris will return for a second visit, and that the satisfaction rate for the region was an impressive 97 per cent.
Image copyright by Moyan Brenn