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Paris Helpline: a service to restore the confidence of tourists

Paris Helpline is a brand-new service aimed at better orienting and reassuring tourists in Paris. To find out more, we interviewed its founder, Laure Boerio.

Rédigé par Saliha Hadj-Djilani translated by Joséphine Foucher le Lundi 27 Juin 2016

Paris Helpline: a service to restore the confidence of tourists What is Paris Helpline?

Laure Boerio: The concept is to enable tourists to fully experience Paris by making the local know-how and expertise directly available to them, in a highly personalized manner. Behaviors have changed and tourists strongly prepare and anticipate they trip in terms of planning, activities, outings etc.

But the “in-between” (all the daily and practical trivial and major questions) was never offered in a professional manner. Once visitors exit their accommodations, there are lots of barriers and many unanswered questions. Even though all of the information is out there, it needs to be personalized, translated, explained to those who are not familiar with the environment (and who often don’t understand it) by those who immediately master it. Giving a map to a tourist does not necessarily mean that she will be able to get around at ease!

Which is why I decided to create a tool that can make this local expertise accessible to tourists in realtime and that meets their needs in a humane and compassionate manner.

Paris Helpline is a service that makes local, multilingual experts available to tourists in realtime, everywhere in Paris, via its interactive application: it's like having a local bilingual advisor right in the tourist’s pocket in Paris. How did the idea of creating this service come about?

L.B.: “This project originated from the deep love I have for my city: Paris.

After traveling for three year in Australia, I came back to Paris and one day, when sitting at a terrace, I noticed a Japanese couple who is struggling, map in hand, and they are arguing. I realize the absurdity of the situation: I am less than a meter away from them and I can solve their problem in just a few seconds, bring a solution that will prevent this moment from ruining their vacation. Their problem was not one for me since I know the city perfectly.

Geographically I immediately get my bearings: I could have solved their problem in a few seconds and consequently avoid this type of situation. Furthermore, I could have added lots of information for their comfort and enjoyment.

Sprouting from this observation, I decided to create a system that can respond in realtime to the needs of tourists and that can meet all of their practical and daily issues.” How can this service reassure tourists?

L.B.: “First of all, because we are the only ones, today, to offer a priority phone number with an “Emergency-Safe check” link.

A simple click on this link leads to a priority phone line with: identification of the tourist, geolocation, direct relation, immediate assistance, first prevention actions, contact with entities in charge of addressing the specific emergency.

Secondly, because we are not machines, we are “human to human”: we are here to look after them. We are with them, at every instant. They have zero obligations and can get lost strolling around as much as they wish, but when in need: we are here, with them. Our voice, compassion, and the service quality of our advisors are a prerequisite to ensure the hospitality and reassurance of tourists in the current context. As of now, there is no other system that enables them this freedom and independence while being completely safe at the same time.”

Practical Information

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