PARIS, France – A new mobile app has been launched to help tourists visiting Paris find areas of the French capital where their native tongue will be understood.
‘Yes I speak touriste’ has been launched to help foreigners struggling with their French find some respite.
The app provides users with an interactive map showing locations like restaurants and hotels where their respective language is spoken.
Users select their preferred language and locations appear where they can find fellow Mandarin, Arabic and English speakers.
Selecting Mandarin, for example, and around 20 addresses pop up, including a pharmacy.
The French capital’s chamber of commerce released the app, which is available in nine languages, at the start of the peak summer tourism season.
Along with the app, there is a paper guide and a website with a list of locations compiled by the chamber of commerce and the regional tourism board.
The website, called ‘Do you speak touriste?’ also offers businesses personality profiles for different nationalities.
According to the profiles, Russian tourists are ‘traditional and passionate’, and Chinese are ‘serial shoppers and connected’.
Now, the service has moved to mobile, and is available free of charge for Android and iOS phones.
Paris consistently ranks as the most visited city in the world, with 46 million visitors – 58 per cent French and 42 per cent international – each year, according to the chamber of commerce.
The organization said ‘the perception of the destination by tourists is positive, with a satisfaction level of 94 per cent in 2014’.
Not all tourists are satisfied, though. Japanese reported 58 percent satisfaction, and Chinese 54 percent – with security an issue.
‘Cultivating hospitality shows the world that each visitor is welcomed. It also encourages jobs and growth,’ the statement said.