French officials have conceded that London offers a better tourism experience than Paris, following a survey they commissioned themselves to explore ways to boost international arrivals.
The report, titled “Twenty Four Hours In A Tourist Capital” – was carried the Paris-Ile de France Regional Tourism Committee (CRT) – and placed London first in ahead of five other European cities, including Paris, Rome, Berlin.
The findings follow this month’s victory of London in the 2010 World Travel Awards where it beat off the likes of Paris, New York and Sydney to pick up the coveted “World’s Leading Destination”.
In the French report, London is accepted as the more impressive city in every aspect, from its restaurants and taxis to its landmarks such as Westminster Abbey and Houses of Parliament. The findings come despite Parisians boasting that nowhere beats their restaurants and tourist attractions, such as the Eiffel Tower.
London scored 82 per cent for its welcome to visitors from abroad. This was followed by Paris and Amsterdam in joint second place on 79 percent.
Madrid and Rome, came joint third, both on 76 per cent, while Berlin was last with 74 per cent.
Undercover French investigators concluded that public transport in Paris was poor, with tickets difficult to buy and the Metro old and dirty. Hotels scored 74 per cent compared with 89 per cent for those in London.
Committee head Jean-Pierre Blat said: “The survey reflects reality. Paris knows how to welcome visitors but there are definite improvements to make.”
He also suggested the French were often the most critical of their own capital, which may explain the result.
The only main fault they found in London was the lack of foreign languages. Mr Blat said: “In Paris we speak English, Italian, and Spanish, while in London they only speak English.”
Visitors to London can access all the best the great capital has to offer with the launch of a new mobile site, london.mobi.
The site is the latest in this illustrious line up of city guides from World Mobi, with over 800 cities in 200 countries listed. Each is developed by the World Mobi team to combine into a single global travel directory.
However, each city retains its own mobile identity via a dedicated domain. Already on offer are Brussels.Mobi, Sanfrancisco.Mobi and Sydney.Mobi.
Entries are also linked to websites where users can quickly access more detailed information if needed.
Other key features include information on accommodation, restaurants, attractions, entertainment, nightlife, shopping, and transport.
World Mobi guides include user reviews and traveller utilities such as a translation guide, currency converter, news and local weather guide.