Pro-Canadian Tourism Group Offers to Help N.H. Businesses Become More Francophone-Friendly
A New Hampshire tourism group is trying to make local restaurants and businesses more francophone-friendly.
Katharine Harrington heads up Bienvenue New Hampshire, which seeks to make a “Quebec business friendly environment in New Hampshire.”
She says when French-Canadian visitors come to New Hampshire now, the French pretty much ends with the "Bienvenue" on the state welcome signs.
Even the state welcome centers don't have a lot of translated material.
"There's an entire wall of brochures about all of the things to do in New Hampshire. And there's one tiny corner that says 'Francais' and it’s got exactly one brochure in it," Harrington says.
But thanks to grant funding, Bienvenue is now offering to translate local menus, brochures and websites into French for Sullivan, Coos and Grafton county businesses.
"I really think it just says something when we make that extra effort and show that we can speak to you in your own language,” Harrington says. “And honor the fact that our neighbors next door are not native English speakers."
Harrington says New Hampshire sees 228,000 overnight French-Canadian visitors each year, while Vermont gets about double that amount.
Harrington says interested parties can contact them via email here.