Home DESTINATION SPOTLIGHT Paris, France: To Improve Attitudes To Tourists
Paris, France: To Improve Attitudes To Tourists PDF Print E-mail

Along with Bastille Day and other summer celebrations in France, tourism is now at its busiest. However, according to a recent CNBC report, tourism has been somewhat slow so far, and implies a reason is the reputation of the French people’s rude behavior to foreign visitors.

We’ve been to France many times, and except for a few cabbies, waiters and pickpockets, we never had any trouble with French citizens. They’ve always been courteous and helpful, their food excellent and wine tasty. In the street stalls open to bargaining in friendly competitive ways.

However, it seems the slowdown in tourism is causing French officials of that vital industry to attempt to erase the image of traditional rudeness. The city of Paris has printed and distributed instructions to retailers, waiters, cabbies and others on how to make nicey nice to visitors.

For example, consider the most frequent and money-loaded visitors, Les Americaines. Those pesky foreigners want luxury at bargain rates and demand early dining in a city where residents eat at 8 pm. The touring Germans, despite the unpleasantness of World War II, expect the French to understand when they speak in their language.

With the steady growth of well-heeled Japanese and Chinese visitors, the instructions urge shopkeepers and others offer friendly smiles and a greeting word or two in Asian languages. They will go a long way in extracting cash from the guests’ very stuffed wallets and purses.

OK, Parisian businesses: Un, deux, trois et sourire!

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