Updated June 24, 12:24 p.m. EST
Are the French finally feeling the pinch of their struggling economy and embracing the concept that “it pays to be nice”? Tourism offices in Paris–a city notorious for being unwelcoming to foreigners–are hoping to avoid losing visitors to friendlier destinations by distributing a handbook on being more courteous, reports Reuters.
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Titled, “Do you speak Touriste?”, the small pamphlet provides specialized advice for retailers, hotels, restaurants, and taxi drivers on how to be more welcoming to Paris’ visitors–half of whom are coming from outside of France. Friendly responses to common scenarios are demonstrated in eight languages, including Spanish, Italian and Chinese.
The guide also offers suggestions to help locals better understand how visitors from various countries prefer to be addressed. “The British like to be called by their first names,” the guide explains, while Italians should be shaken by the hand, and Americans like to be reassured on prices. The Chinese are described as “fervent shoppers” and, apparently, undemanding customers, as “a simple smile and hello in their language will fully satisfy them,” Reuters excerpts.
Brazilians apparently pose a special challenge to a city known for exchanging greetings with barely-touching, double-cheek kisses. According to Reuters, the guide suggests offering to speak English to Brazilians — who are described as warm, “readily tactile” and keen on evening excursions — by telling them: “Nào falo Português mas posso informar Inglês.” (Rough translation: “I don’t speak Portuguese, but I can speak English.”)