Do You Speak Tourist?

Tourists in FranceThe Regional Tourism Committee and the ICC Paris Ile-de-France recently launched a major campaign titled “Do you speak tourist?” to increase awareness among hospitality professionals of the need for better reception of foreign tourists.

While Paris and its environs are a preferred destination for international tourists (attracting 33 million foreign tourists in 2011), its reputation in terms of reception is unsatisfactory in a context of international competition when compared with cities like London. The reasons for this include an overall poor command of foreign languages and insufficient knowledge of customs and courtesies expected by foreign tourists, including those from emerging countries such as China and Brazil.

This is why these organizations have created two tools – a printed guide and a website – for Parisian hospitality professionals. The guide provides key information (e.g., types of expenditures, average length of stay, customs, and expectations) for the main nationalities visiting Ile-de-France (English, American, German, Belgian, Brazilian, Chinese, Spanish, Italian, Japanese and Dutch). The guide is currently being circulated throughout the IDF region.

The website ( includes:

  • Key information about various nationalities.
  • Helpful phrases in several languages so that professionals can more easily interact with their customers. These are available in written and audio forms.
  • Information on the region’s tourism, leisure and culture.
  • Tourist offers.

Ah, Paris

Paris Ile-de-France is one of the world’s leading travel destinations. Between 2010 and 2011, attendance tourism increased by 3% thanks to an international clientele. There are 500,000 people working in the tourism sector, or 9.5% of the workforce, in Ile-de-France. Paris remains the third-highest city for global tourism receipts. The British, Americans and Spaniards comprised the bulk of internationals visitors to Paris Ile-de-France in 2011.


Photo Credit: StephenMcleod – International Man of Mystery via Compfight cc