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Saturday August 17, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Saturday August 17, 2013 MYT 7:24:30 AM
Non, non, we are not rude – we have ze manual now! —AFP
Paris tries to shed its image as a rude city, with an etiquette manual.
THE British like to be called by their first name. Americans are direct and frank, Brazilians are by nature warm and touchy-feely, and Chinese visitors are satisfied with a simple smile and “Hello” in their language.
These are some of the tips offered in a six-page etiquette manual that is being handed out to Parisian restaurateurs, taxi drivers, and sales staff in an effort to shed the city’s worldwide long-standing reputation as rude and surly.
Produced by the Paris Chamber of Commerce, 300,000 copies of Do You Speak Touriste? (www.doyouspeaktouriste.fr) are being distributed throughout the city and provide mini lessons on how to cater to the different cultural needs and expectations of its international visitors.
The City of Light is one of the most visited destinations in the world, receiving about 33 million tourists a year.
But, as the chamber of commerce admits, “despite its indisputable charm, the capital has work to do when it comes to welcoming visitors”.
The manual provides a quick study on the travel preferences and cultural habits of nine different nationalities (including fellow French visitors), as well as handy lessons such as how to say “Hello” and “Thank you” in different languages.
The most important priorities among German travellers, for instance, are clarity, precision, cleanliness and quality.
Hotels and restaurants should note that American visitors, meanwhile, tend to be highly connected, gadget-heavy consumers who appreciate free WiFi services. They’re also “very direct”and frank and are used to personalised customer service.
Chinese visitors have an idealistic and romantic vision of Paris, and make shopping and dining their priorities.
And tourists from Japan typically arrive in the city with strictly regimented, itemised itineraries, as well as high expectations.
“The Japanese never complain right away when they’re not satisfied, but will complain when they return to Japan.”
In advance of the Summer Olympic Games in London last year, Britain’s tourism office likewise produced an etiquette guideline on how to deal with international visitors. Among their recommendations were refraining from asking Brazilians personal questions and never mistaking a Canadian for an American. – AFP Relaxnews
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