"I think they know it's desperate," Elaine Sciolino, a New York Times writer in Paris, told TODAY, "I mean the economy is really hurting, and unemployment is at 10 percent. Foreign investment is way down, so you've got to keep tourism up."
More From NBC News:
TravelLeisure's World's Best Hotels 2013
Billionaire's Lover Gets 12 Years for Forging Will
Civil War Re-Enactors Fight to Right History at Gettysburg for 150th
For instance, to understand Americans, the guide says, locals should know they demand WiFi, enjoy high-end hotels, and prefer to have dinner at 6 p.m. Meanwhile, Germans want to converse in German. Spaniards like amusement parks. Feeling uncertain about navigating an unknown city, the Japanese need to be reassured. And the guide describes the Chinese as "fervent shoppers," gently reminding readers that "a simple smile and hello in their language will fully satisfy them."
The pamphlet provides tips for 11 different nationalities in total.
But not everyone feels they need the new handbook. Chef François Pasteau of L'Epi Dupin has insisted his staff speak English, among other languages, for the last 18 years.
(Read More: Hotel Apps Replace the Concierge)
"Why you have to be rude with customers??" Pasteau told TODAY. "No! You have to be nice, with everybody!" With tourists lining up to dine at his bistro, the attitude seems to be working.
Though the guidebook endeavor launched last month, it's not the first effort Paris has made to make itself more approachable. "Meeting the French," a program born in 2005, offers travelers the chance to meet "real Parisians"—at work or at home, over dinner in a local family's apartment.
Similarly, the free "Parisien d'Un Jour" (Paris Greeters) program has since 2008 paired visitors with local volunteers who love to share their city. Travelers register online ahead of their visit—noting interests like food, architecture, flea markets, history—and the program matches them up with a local enthusiastic about the topic.