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With ad­di­tional two French restau­rants en­ter­ing the three­star cut in the Miche­lin Guide, the French gov­ern­ment sets a higher bench­mark on its tourism by fo­cus­ing more on its food cul­ture France has made a record-break­ing fact as the most vis­ited coun­try in the world. With more than 84 mil­lion tourists flock­ing to the re­pub­lic in 2013, it fea­tures a wide di­ver­sity of at­trac­tions, in­clud­ing a vi­brant food cul­ture and culi­nary tra­di­tions that have stood the test of time. Paris, for in­stance, has been dubbed as the cap­i­tal of haute cui­sine, with more than 600 restau­rants re­ceiv­ing at least one Miche­lin star in 2015. On Fe­bru­ary 2, Miche­lin in­cluded other se­lec­tions from France into its three-star rank­ing, the an­nounce­ment of which was made at the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs, Quai d’or­say. The event sig­ni­fies that the shift is tak­ing place at the heart of the French gov­ern­ment, strength­en­ing the lat­ter’s com­mit­ment to en­hanc­ing the role of gas­tron­omy in its tourism growth. The two French restau­rants that man­aged to en­ter the three-star cat­e­gory this year are La Bouitte in the French Alps, op­er­ated by fa­ther-and-son team Rene and Maxime Meilleur, and Yan­nick Al­léno Parisian res­tau­rant, Le­doyen. Rene and Maxime—each re­ceived the in­dus­try’s most ven­er­ated prize for their im­pec­ca­ble ex­per­tise in fish, said Michael El­lis, the di­rec­tor of in­ter­na­tional guides for Miche­lin, as quoted by AFP. Master chef Yan­nick Al­léno, who once snatched the three-stars in 2007 for his work at Le Meurice in Paris, is the chef star this year. His work for Le Pav­il­lon Le­doyen earned him the three-stars, an ex­pected yet pleas­ing con­tin­u­a­tion of an achieve­ment from the same res­tau­rant that was pre­vi­ously named sim­ply “Le­doyen”, which was then at the helm of Chris­tian Le Squer. With such achieve­ments, the French gov­ern­ment also prom­ises that other trans­for­ma­tions will fol­low suit in hopes of cater­ing the needs of tourists and chang­ing its decades­long haughty im­age. Other lan­guages will be added in ma­jor sub­way lines and sta­tions; multi-day trans­port passes for tourists will be avail­able; poly­glot agents will be al­lo­cated to serve tourists from all around the world, ac­cord­ing to AP. In the shop­ping depart­ment, the coun­try also plans on ex­tend­ing shop­ping hours on Sun­days in tourist shop­ping ar­eas (this is still un­der leg­isla­tive de­bate). Restau­rants will be re­quired to dif­fer­en­ti­ate their pack­aged food with home­made cre­ations with the la­bel “fait mai­son” (home­made). Last but not least, to­day, the fa­mous Miche­lin has evolved into a com­pre­hen­sive guide to tourism in gen­eral, not just restau­rants.

PHOTO BY REUTERS

French chefs Rene Meilleur (left) and his son Maxime Meilleur (cen­tre), who run La Bouitte res­tau­rant in Saint-martin-de-belleville in the French Alps, and French chef Yan­nick Al­leno (right), who runs the Pav­il­lon Le­doyen res­tau­rant in cen­tral Paris, pose af­ter be­ing awarded three-stars dur­ing the pre­sen­ta­tion of the new 2015 an­nual Miche­lin res­tau­rant guide in Paris Fe­bru­ary 2, 2015.

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