EnjoYourParis is a web-based service that enables individuals to sign up for activities or even to organise events themselves. Here I ask co-founder Guillaume Giler (with Rémi Brichant) why he launched the concept, and how he thinks the service helps people to get the best out of the city.
Can you tell us a little bit more about EnjoYourParis?
EnjoYourParis is a website that allows people to find and reserve activities in Paris. We try to offer a wide variety of activities such as original guided walks, with amusing anecdotes and the chance to meet inhabitants and artists. We also provide cheese and wine tastings, romantic cruises down the Seine and much more! We think that Paris shouldn't be limited to the Eiffel tower and the Louvre, and that there is so much more to see and do. We also think Parisians are not as bad as they are said to be, so we try to focus on conviviality and participative tourism in Paris!
What inspired you to create the website?
Originally it was an idea I had during a one year trip to Sydney in Australia. At the University I studied at we had a buddy who showed us around and introduced us to his/her friends, so that we wouldn't feel totally lost in a city we didn't know. I found this idea really interesting and wanted to do it in Paris, but on a wilder scale.
Initially the website was all about meeting people from all around the world during activities giving foreigners and Parisians the chance to meet and have fun together! This still happens and any member can advertise for something he'd like to do in Paris and invite people to join, and we ourselves try to continue organising entertaining and free events. We also suggest venues to go to, but over the months, we have also added a new dimension with some more touristic activities giving another perspective on Paris.
What can visitors find on the website?
Pretty much anything, considering anyone can join for free and post his or her event on the website, although of course there are moderators! Mainly users will find a selection of activities including art exhibitions, tastings, macaroon workshops, walks and sport activities. We try to find things to do that anyone can enjoy, and try to have activities for any age and any budget, even though this is not always easy.
The community aspect of the website is important. Can you explain how this works?
The community aspect was vital, as it's all about people meeting and spending time together, so it's important people who meet can find each other and stay in touch through the website. You can add people as friends and follow what they are subscribing to, you can send private messages and also find people who have the same likes as you do, or come from your country as you. However, we're not aiming to become the new Facebook, and we simply want people to use the website before or after meeting in real life. It's not meant to be a dating agency, and we want the events to have as many people taking part as possible.
Is EnjoYourParis a service that could be used by people only coming to Paris for a few days?
Absolutely. Because events are often planned in advance, people can reserve on the website before coming to Paris and do the activities once they are here. It can be a nice way to organise one or two activities on a short trip, and also to discover the bars, restaurant or night clubs you might want to go to. The website can suit people coming for the first time but also people coming back to Paris, who have already visited the main attractions and who want to explore a bit further.
What plans do you have for the future?
We are always trying to improve the website, but currently we are also thinking about extending it to other cities across Europe. We think this will make the community more active and mean nice things to do all over the continent! We are also trying to take advantage of smart phones by developing geo localised apps which will help any traveller or local to find activities in their part of the city. So, as you can see, still lots of things to do, and lots of ideas, and hopefully they'll work!