RadCan’s Sur le Web makes an interesting point (I’d link to the post directly, but I can’t) today about the Tourism Toronto website (which should probably be called the Toronto Tourism site considering its URL, but who am I to judge?) that was featured in a recent Globe and Mail article about the increase in domestic tourism to the city.
Tourism Toronto doesn’t have a French version.
It took me about five minutes to find the links to different language versions (they’re on the bottom of the page), in the form of flags for different countries under the banner “international sites.” There’s a Chinese version, a Korean version, a Japanese version and a Spanish version. But no French. (Incidentally, there are flags for Spain and Argentina which link to TorontoTourismMexico.com, which I’m sure isn’t going to offend anyone, right?).
I haven’t asked the site’s creators what their motives are, because that’s no fun. So let’s speculate about them here. Did they forget? Are Korean tourists more valuable than French ones? Is there some other website for francophone Canadian tourists? Are they trying to get back at us for winning the bagel war?
No French site? Seriously that’s downright stupid considering the 7 million French in Canada. Even if I weren’t French I would still find it offensive that Toronto would permit that since it always spouts about being the most multi-cultural and open city in the frakking world but will subtly give the finger to the French. Ah and then they wonder why the rest of Canada hates Toronto.
A simple cost-benefit analysis could clear this one up in no time flat, but I’ll play along: we’re scared you’ll make our natty businesslike threads look ho-hum in comparison to the style Mecca that is Montreal.
It’s Toronto….who cares?
Their choice of languages actually reflects the ethnic portrait of the city – French accounts for < 1%.
But not necessarily the portrait of those who may want to visit Toronto. So it’s quite shortsighted.
No Marc, Japanese make up less than 0.5% of Toronto’s population, but that language is on the list.
Tagalog Hindhi Urdu are all missing from the list and make up a much larger fraction of the city’s population.
So in fact it is francophobia pure and simple…. or more interestingly the misguided belief that Quebeckers all speak English anyway.
I don’t know the underlying reasons, but as an English speaking Quebecer, I find it highly offensive. Especially while I’m trying to convince my French speaking friends that Ontario has made great strides in making French speaking tourists feel welcome!