Are the French about to get a little friendlier?

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From left, Jacob Kennard, Gavin Moon, Ian Doyle and Sarah Talboys-Smith with Shanon Rees and Rodney Watson at the front
 at the Southsea Village in Palmerston Road Picture: Habibur Rahman

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It could be music to the ears of the thousands of trippers who leave Portsmouth each year on ferries bound for France - the French are being urged to be more welcoming.

The call has come from the country’s foreign minister Laurent Fabius ahead of the launch of a fund to attract even more visitors.

Already the world’s top tourism draw, with 84 million visitors last year, France hopes to boost that figure to 100 million by 2020.

‘Tourism is a national treasure that needs to be protected, nurtured and developed – that’s the aim of all these measures’ said M.Fabius.

Referring to the country’s traditional image of gruffness - particularly perhaps towards English guests - he added: ‘To put it diplomatically, we have room for improvement here.

‘When we come up against a foreign tourist, we are all ambassadors for France.’

*What’s your view of French hospitality - could it be improved? Please post a comment on this story