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China Daily Website

Paris police to add Chinese language service

Updated: 2013-07-03 14:06
By Zhang Xiang ( chinadaily.com.cn)

To ensure the safety of Chinese tourists in Paris, local police bureaus will provide 24-hour Chinese language services when answering calls, according to a tourism department official from Ile-de-France, Beijing Youth Daily reported.

Along with the service, Paris police also jointly issued a Chinese-version guide to safe sightseeing in Paris with the local tourism administration, offering suggestions for Chinese tourists to deal with attacks and robberies.

The guide is available at French airport information desks. It shows tourists how to identify true police officers, prevent bags from being stolen, and react to violent attacks, among other things. It also publishes useful contact information for tourists when they want to call the police, be rescued, report a loss to banks, take a taxi or look for the Chinese Embassy.

Muggings and thefts are a frequent complaint among Chinese tourists in France recently. In March, a Chinese tour group was robbed, and the guide was injured. The incident has had a negative impact on Paris tourism.

"We were sorry for the safety problems that happened because of our lack of efforts in the past. Now we are trying to improve our services in all directions. The 24-hour Chinese language services will provide more convenience for the Chinese tourists," the official said.

After the attack, Paris boosted police presence around hot destinations like the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower, where many Chinese tourists gather.

The number of theft complaints near the Louvre dropped from 120 in April to 30 in May.

"Paris is not a dangerous city, and we welcome more Chinese to visit," the official said.

Chinese tourists usually carry big sums of cash, making them a target of criminals. Paris recently started accepting Unionpay cards, in order to cater to the shopping needs of Chinese tourists.

But at the same time, Chinese tourists are encouraged not to wear valuable jewelry or clothes, or carry expensive handbags, to avoid the attention of potential criminals.

According to the official, the number of Chinese tourists in France is seeing a rapid increase in recent years. There were way fewer Chinese tourists before, so services were not adequate, but the tourism department is trying to improve the situation.

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