PARISIANS ARE OFTEN stereotyped for their elegant clothing, their chicness – and their haughty attitudes.
True or not, the perception exists, which may deter some tourists from visiting the French capital or leave them feeling slightly unhappy after their visit (though Paris still sees about 29 million tourists every year.)
So the Paris Tourism Board is encouraging locals to be nicer to tourists with a new guide called “Do You Speak Touriste?”
“The aim is to fight against the poor reputation for welcome in Paris and the Paris area,” Jean-Pierre Blat, general director of the Paris area tourist board, told the Daily Telegraph.
“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,” Blat continued.
The guide gives Parisians tips on how to handle different types of international tourists. For example, it tells Parisians that American tourists prefer fast, efficient, and personalised service, that they are very tech-savvy, and that they eat dinner at 6pm. (There doesn’t seem to be any advice on Irish tourists, unfortunately).
It says that Chinese tourists come to Paris for the luxury shopping, spending an average of €171 per person each day, and that “a simple smile and hello in their language will satisfy them plenty.” It also says that Chinese people are “sensitive to food and wine.”
But the Japanese are the biggest spenders, dropping an average of €186 per person per day—but they need constant reassurance and are “discreet but demanding.” It also says that the Japanese will never complain while they’re in France, but if they’re not satisfied they’ll criticise once they’re back in Japan.
Brazilians also spend a lot of money at an average of €167 per person per day, and are warm and touchy.
Ironically, the guide says that the French are perhaps the most demanding tourists in that they “do not want to be seen as tourists.” They also spend the least amount of money at a mere €87 per person per day.
Some of these instructions are hilarious, but it will be interesting to see if Parisians will actually heed the guide’s advice.