Parisians 'told to be polite'

Tourist officials in Paris have launched a new campaign to try and encourage residents to be more polite to holidaymakers.

Yesterday (July 9th) was the first Paris Tourist Day, when officials encourage residents of the French capital to be as polite, welcoming and helpful to foreign visitors as possible for 24 hours.

To mark the occasion, brochures were given out to waiters, taxi drivers and other professionals asking them to shed their reputation for arrogance and rudeness and act in a friendly manner instead.

Jean-Claude Lesourd, the chairman of the Paris Tourist Office, told the Times newspaper: "We have been trying very hard for a number of years to improve the welcome that Parisians offer to visitors.

"And things are getting better. More and more Parisians can answer questions in English, for example. The old stereotype of people only speaking French is no longer true.

"I do agree that more needs to be done, however, and that's why we have created Paris Tourist Day."

Paris is one of the most popular destinations for UK holidaymakers looking for a city break. Notable attractions include the Louvre, Notre-Dame cathedral, Sacre-Coeur basilica and the Eiffel Tower.

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