tisdag, december 08, 2009

GRETA La Châtre 1+8/12

Education at GRETA.

What is Greta?

Well it's not a woman from Germany but a group of public educational centers for adults. These educations are complementary to other previous studies and not directed to people who is in need of catching up with school or university studies they previously missed.

The specific education I'm now attending concerns the tourism in the central region of France - Région Centre - (Visa Accueil Tourisme) but also take a wider grip on tourism as a phenomena.

The primary goal is to give the participants good and profound knowledge about Région Centre and its different tourist attractions, cultural heritage and to simplify and ameliorate the welcoming of tourists and all this in order to augment the interest for this region.

As tourism is an essential source of income it's important to take advantage of the great interest people around the world bear for France, its culture, history, food and landscapes.

The knowledge about tourism also implies getting to know some of the habits and traditions in different countries and how people from these countries usually prefer being welcomed.

This includes such things as what they prefer to eat, how they like to be addressed and not least learning some phrases in different languages.

As you know the French are seldom willing to learn nor appreciating speaking other languages but French! 

I know that one of the participants at the course objected to this and therefore displayed that he could both speak and read English and even learnt some phrases in Swedish! To be honest there where other participants who also spoke English, some German and Dutch.

Generally however the attitude has been: Either you learn French or you will be lost (somewhat exaggerated).

We got to listen to people talking English, German, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Chinese and Japanese and was also given the opportunity to learn some useful phrases in these languages.

France is the leading 'tourist country' in the world with about 78 million visitors every year! This is quite impressing.
Most tourists however stay in Paris or near the Alpes or the Mediterranean Sea and this is a pity as other parts of France do offer a lot of interesting sights and events, not least Région Centre!

If you look at our blog (auroregunnar.blogspot.com) you will find a small collection of the many interesting sites to visit in the region.

At first the education was to last three days and three hours each time, but as our teacher couldn't make it the third date, we met for almost six hours the second and last time, 8th of December.
This the last meeting also became a formidable feast where each and everyone had brought something to eat and drink! Mon Dieu! This is one of the things I like about France: Food is culture and the participants had brought pies of different kinds, sausages, pâtés, wine and even champagne! This would never happen in Sweden!

We got to learn a lot about the region and we discussed not only the different sites to visit, like castles, churches and events but also talked about music, literature, film and a lot more.
I think this was a very useful education and after finishing the lesson we got our Visa Accueil Tourisme, proving that we had participated in these courses.

We all decided to meet the 8th of January in the home of one of the participants, to eat and drink and conduct further discussions concerning how to promote Région Centre and the different cities and sites in the region.

This education can be supplemented next year if one wants to become a 'tourist ambassador'.

Some information concerning GRETA in French:

Visa Accueil Tourisme: 3 séances pour:
- Connaître les enjeux du tourisme en Région Centre
- S’impliquer dans l’accueil de touristes étrangers rencontrés sur son territoire
- Connaître les potentiels touristiques de la Région Centre
- Conseiller les touristes étrangers
- Acquérir et pratiquer le vocabulaire de base de l’accueil en langues étrangères.

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