Paris tackles rudeness with new manual

People sit at a terrace cafe near the Alexandre III bridge on the opening day of the new pedestrian walkway area between the Orsay Museum and Alma Bridge on the left bank of the River Seine in Paris
People sit at a terrace cafe near the Alexandre III bridge on the opening day of the new pedestrian walkway area between the Orsay Museum and Alma Bridge on the left bank of the River Seine in Paris

One of the world’s most visited cities but also famous for its rudeness, Paris has embarked on a campaign to improve its reputation and better cater to the needs of tourists.

Waiters, taxi drivers and sales staff in the French capital all too often come off as impolite, unhelpful and unable to speak foreign languages say local tourism chiefs, who are handing out a manual with guidelines on better etiquette.

A six-page booklet entitled “Do you speak Touriste?” contains greetings in eight languages including German, Chinese and Portuguese and advice on the spending habits and cultural codes of different nationalities.

“The British like to be called by their first names,” the guide explains, while Italians should be shaken by the hand and Americans reassured on prices.

Of the Chinese, the fastest-growing category of tourists visiting the City of Light, the guide says they are “fervent shoppers” and that “a simple smile and hello in their language will fully satisfy them.”

France is the world’s top destination for foreign tourists, with Paris visited by 29 million people last year. The business tourists bring to hotels, restaurants and museums accounts for one in 10 jobs in the region and is a welcome boost to the economy at a time of depressed domestic consumption.

The Paris chamber of commerce and the regional tourism committee have warned, however, that growing competition from friendlier cities like London meant Paris needed to work harder to attract visitors, especially from emerging market countries.

Some 30,000 copies of the handbook on friendly service is being distributed to taxi drivers, waiters, hotel managers and sales people in tourist areas from the banks of the Seine river up to Montmartre and in nearby Versailles and Fontainebleau.

Setting realistic linguistic ambitions, it suggests offering to speak English to Brazilians – who it describes as warm and readily tactile and keen on evening excursions – by telling them: “Nào falo Português mas posso informar Inglês.”

 


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

'Five Star': A coming-of-age story about Brooklyn's gang…

'Five Star' tells a coming-of-age story about Brooklyn's gang culture at the Tribeca Film Festival.

National

New statue of Penn State's Paterno set for…

By David DeKokHARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Fundraising for a new statue depicting Joe Paterno "as the man he was and not Joe the football coach"…

Local

NYPD detective shoots partner: DA

A New York City Police detective was arrested early Thursday and charged with driving under the influence while on the clock.

Local

Judge strikes down NY limits on donations to…

A federal judge on Thursday reluctantly struck down New York's limits on donations to independent political action committees as unconstitutional, potentially ushering in a new…

Music

Championship of Collegiate a Cappella: Students who are…

Tickets to this Saturday’s International Championship of Collegiate a Cappella reportedly sold out within 11 hours of going on sale.

Music

M.I.A. talks 'Matangi,' divinity, spontaneity and holograms

"There’s pressure for me to become a theatrical production like 'Glee,' or something" says M.I.A., "It’s like, 'the pressure’s on, bitches.'"

Movies

Tribeca: 'Goodbye to All That' star Paul Schneider…

Paul Schneider talks about his new film "Goodbye to All That," not acting too much and how he'd rather indulge in simple pleasures than play the scene.

The Word

Taylor Swift battles paparazzi daily at Tribeca penthouse

We're entranced by these photos of poor Taylor Swift leaving her Tribeca apartment.

NHL

Rangers unlikely to change lineup, Steve Mason in…

Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault wouldn't say much, but don't expect any lineup changes.

NBA

Jason Collins named to Time's 100 Most Influential…

Jason Collins was named to the list after coming out as the first openly gay player to appear in an NBA game.

NBA

Nets excited for Brooklyn fans to bring the…

Kevin Garnett has definitely used profanity while trash talking or in practices, but never to describe an entire borough.

NHL

Rangers turn up shot blocking in Game 3…

Game 3 of the Rangers-Flyers opneing round series was not a return to John Tortorella hockey.

Parenting

New study: Inside the wage gap between boys…

According to a new study, there's a wage gap between boys and girls, with boys earning more allowance for less chores.

Tech

From Apple TV to Fire TV, big changes…

Apple is set to launch a new generation of it's Apple TV, which grossed over $1 billion in 2013. But competition from Amazon and Google looms.

Style

Katy Perry releases a new Claire’s collection

Katy Perry expands her empire by releasing an accessories collection at Claire's.

Style

MAC & Proenza Schouler collection unveiled

MAC Cosmetics is releasing a new collection with Proenza Schouler.