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Help! The British Are Coming!

Funny that I should have just been in London and writing about the “Roastbeef” vs. the “Frogs” (British vs. the French), because while I was in England, I received a communiqué from the “L’Office de Tourisme et des Congrès de Paris” that “Paris – Londres: c’est la guerre!” (Paris – London…at war! — Jokingly, of course!)

As it turns out, London and Paris are in serious competition as candidates to host the Olympic Games of 2012. In this morning’s, they claim that “London is leading the race to host the 2012 Olympic Games. London is the bookies favourite but its rivals remain close with Paris, Madrid and New York all pitching first class bids.”

Then, in the communiqué I received, Paris claims to have the lead:
(Translation from the French) “With 15 million foreign visitors in 2002, Paris remains the first world tourist city. The Office of Tourism and of the Congresses of Paris contest the information published by the AFP quoting the last study by the British Institute of Research “Mintel” published Friday, stating that Paris would have attracted only nearly 9 million foreigners (compared to 11 million for London). This figure relates only to the arrivals from abroad within the hotel trade. The total number foreign tourists received in Paris into 2002 rose to 15 million visitors to which 11 million French visitors are added, that is to say a total of 26 million tourists.”

The rivalry continues after all these centuries and has always seemed to me similar to siblings — each of whom resemble one of the parents, of the same ilk but different in personality and spirit. The International Olympic Committee will make their decision on 6 July 2005 and until then, we’ll surely see some fireworks between the two cities.

Yesterday, I reported on the French Property Show in London and made this statement about the British: “They buy in France because property is less expensive, the food is better, the climate more temperate and the cultural lifestyle richer. From all their publications and presentations about living in France, one can easily get the impression that they come not because of the French, but in spite of them!”

Paul Froggatt (an appropos name, no?), a reader of Parler Paris, couldn’t resist commenting…”Out of the mouths of… Absobloodylutely!” He lives in Roussillon-en-Provence, is a Brit and says furthermore, “Did you know that officially we (the Brits) are now a significant minority population in France at more than 600,000 permanent residents? One day British English will be the official language around here…Teehee.”

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris
E-mail: [email protected]

P.S. No offense to all our British friends, but while London is without a doubt a truly great city, IT ISN’T PARIS. But of course, I can say that for simply every other city in the world of similar standing…nothing compares to Paris. Period.(My opinion, you understand.)


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