OH, LOOK, MES AMIS, MORE TOURISTS WE CAN SMILE AT!
Had a hard time with that headline, I gotta admit. That being said, I got a rather large chuckle out of a story I spotted wherein the Paris Tourist Board has set up a group of "smile ambassadors" to welcome visitors at popular destinations.
"We have to work on striking and simple images (and) there's nothing as telling as a smile," tourist board member Paul Roll told Reuters.
"If we want tourism...to remain a major economic sector, everyone has to get behind it - professionals, elected representatives and French people," said Daniel Fasquelle, founder of a French tourism association.
Apparently TripAdvisor did a recent survey and folks named Paris as the most "over-rated city in Europe." TripAdvisor reviewers cited high prices and unpleasant residents.
I haven't been in Paris for several years but last time I recall folks were pretty friendly (not quite up there with Florida grocery store cashiers who want to chat about your cereal choices but nice enough) and spoke plenty of English and didn't appear insulted that I don't speak a lick of respectable French. It certainly isn't cheap, but you can find plenty of three-star hotels for reasonable Euros in plenty of neighborhoods, including the Left Bank.
I understand pointing out a city's faults, but to label Paris as the most "over-rated" city in Europe seems ridiculous. Beautiful gardens, great food and wine, museums like the Louvre and the Musee D'Orsay, not to mention the Eiffel Tower and Montmartre and Boulevard St. Germain? I don't think "over-rated" is a term I'd use. But maybe I need to go back.
TAHITI TOURISM CONTEST
The polls are open for the second round of Tahiti Tourisme's "Invest in Your Love" video, which will award the second of six trips to Tahiti.
Voting is open July 25 to Aug. 8, and the videos that get the most public votes move on as finalists for the contest, which invites people to submit a video on why they need a little Tahiti.
To check out the videos, go to www.investinyourlove.com
CAN WE PAY IN CELSIUS, PLEASE?
The Philadelphia Marriott Downtown has a curious promotion, where you book a two-night stay and let the outside air temperature (at 4 p.m., sorry, not 3 a.m.) determine the price of your second night. For example, if it's 75 degrees (Fahrenheit) you pay $75 for night number two, plus tax.
The deal is valid for Friday and Saturday nights through Sept. 6 of this year. Prices for the Friday night stay begin at $149, U.S. of course.
Personally, I think Canadians oughta fight for payment in Celsius. Now THAT would be a bargain.