With the “Volunteers of Tourism”, the Paris Region is primed to welcome tourists

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at 13 December 2016

This Tuesday 13th December 2016, Valérie Pécresse, President of the Paris Region launched the new “Volunteers of Tourism” system as part of the training day devoted to the volunteers.

In order to bolster the quality of welcome in light of the crisis felt by the Paris Region tourist sector, Valérie Pécresse, President of the Paris Region decided to deploy volunteers, identifiable in purple vests, on the destination’s main tourist attractions: Montmartre, the department stores on Boulevard Haussmann, the Eiffel Tower, Musée du Louvre, the Parisian airports, Disneyland Paris, Vincennes, Versailles, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Saint-Denis, Auvers-sur-Oise, Fontainebleau, Provins etc. from the 17th to 31st December.

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Valérie Pécresse stressed that: “Today’s launch of the Volunteers of Tourism system is the first step in the plan to stimulate the sector which I wished to implement for our destination. The quality of welcome, information and services reserved for visitors to Paris and Paris Region is a major challenge for the territory’s tourist appeal. We must make every effort to attract new tourists and retain those who want to return”.

Close to one hundred volunteers were trained by the Paris Region Tourist Board teams and are tasked with informing and guiding the large numbers of French and foreign tourists during the end of year period.
This training focuses on the attitudes to be adopted to provide tourists with a quality welcome, implemented through concrete scenarios (welcome of a French family, a young English couple, etc.), making it possible to discuss, among other things, the concepts of proactivity, security, interculturality and personalisation in responding to tourists.

Frédéric Valletoux, President of the Paris Region Tourist Board stressed: “The structure and its network of partners is fully committed to implementing the regional tourism stimulus policy. Through its expertise in hospitality and training, the Paris Region Tourist Board assists tourism professionals to better understand the changing expectations of tourists”.

Determined to participate in this ambitious service approach, numerous partners will be involved in this system and will accompany it throughout its implementation: the Louvre Museum, Viparis, Paris Airport, Union du Grand Commerce de Centre-Ville (Galeries Lafayette and Printemps), the Palace of Versailles and Palace of Fontainebleau, The Bus Direct, SNCF Transilien, Vedettes de Paris, Disneyland Paris

Agnès Vigneron, Director of Galeries Lafayette Haussmann, states: “While it is more essential than ever to support our tourism industry, we are very pleased to support this promising action by making our flagship store on Boulevard Haussmann available to volunteers”.

Jean-Luc Martinez, chairman and director of the Musée du Louvre attests: “The Louvre is priming itself so that a visit to Paris and the Musée du Louvre is a wonderful experience as a result of the excellence of our welcome”.

As for the Palace of Versailles, Chairperson Catherine Pégard informed that “the attraction of visitors from around the world to the Palace of Versailles has always required a quality welcome and service that must live up to its reputation as a place that embodies the French “art de vivre”. The “Volunteers of Tourism” will help the public to find their bearings and obtain the information they need upon their arrival at Versailles. They will strengthen the already existing welcome system at the Palace of Versailles.”

and Tourist Offices (Montmartre, Vincennes, Clichy, Issy-les-Moulineaux, Boulogne-Billancourt, Versailles, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Common Plain - Greater Paris, Fontainebleau, Provins, Roissy-en-France, Enghien-les-Bains, Auvers-sur-Oise, Pays des Impressionnistes, Marne and Gondoire, etc.).

This is also the case for Tricots Saint James who are participating in kitting out the teams. This first experiment will be deployed on a large scale in the tourist season, from spring 2017.

In the first 9 months of 2016 which were characterised by terrorist attacks, social unrest, bad weather, and despite hosting Euro 2016, overnight hotel stays experienced a significant decline (-10.6%): - 14.4% for international tourists, and -5.3% for French tourists, an unprecedented decline which has not been seen since 2010

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