In the bustling heart of Europe, Paris is a city that has always enchanted tourists from across the globe. In the past few decades, this city has seen a remarkable shift in its tourism industry, with many innovative businesses emerging to cater to the evolving interests of visitors. One such pioneer is Entrée to Black Paris. Today, we are thrilled to sit down with the dynamic husband-wife duo behind this unique venture, who have kindly agreed to share their journey with us.

The Beginnings

The story begins over three decades ago when Monique, a native of Houston, Texas, and her husband, a native of Oakland, California, found themselves drawn to the allure of Paris after Monique landed a job with a pharmaceutical company in the French capital. This marked the start of their lifelong love affair with the City of Lights.

Inspiration Behind the Venture

Their foray into the tourism industry was inspired by a memorable trip to Italy, organized by a company known as "Insiders Italy". This personalized trip, tailored to their unique interests, left a lasting impression on them. Upon meeting the owner of "Insiders Italy", they were encouraged to conceive a similar venture for France. This seed of an idea eventually blossomed into "Discover Paris! – Personalized Itineraries for Independent Travelers" in 1999.

Entering the Tourism Industry

Initially, their business model focused on creating personalized itineraries based on their clients' interests. The company saw a shift in its operations post the 2nd Gulf War, when they observed a change in customer behavior. More clients were requesting guided tours instead of self-guided itineraries.

Moreover, there was a growing interest in the African-diaspora history, culture, and contemporary life in Paris. Sensing this change in the market, they rebranded to "Entrée to Black Paris" in 2018, focusing on black history tours in Paris.

Most-Requested Services

Today, their business predominantly revolves around African-diaspora history, culture, and contemporary life in Paris. Their most popular offerings are the walking tours around the Luxembourg Garden, covering the history of black women and men of African descent.

In addition to historical tours, they also offer gourmet tours and activities, with their private guided rue Mouffetard market visit and cooking class being the top favorites among clients.

Challenges and Triumphs

Like many businesses in the tourism industry, "Entrée to Black Paris" faced a significant challenge during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, they responded with resilience and creativity, offering tours in French to attract local clients.

Staying Informed

As members of the Paris Tourist Office, the couple stays updated with the latest trends and developments in the tourism industry through monthly online conferences.

Pride and Achievement

Their proudest achievement is their ability to cater to a diverse clientele, ranging from individuals, couples, and small families to large groups like school trips and family reunions.

Client Satisfaction

"Listening to our clients" is their mantra for ensuring their services meet the needs and expectations of their clients. They take feedback before, during, and after the tours to continually improve their offerings.

The Future of Tourism in Paris

With Paris hosting the Olympic Games next year, they anticipate a substantial increase in foreign visitors. They are confident that the Paris Tourist Office and the City of Paris will ensure a comfortable and safe experience for all visitors.

In a world that is continually evolving, "Entrée to Black Paris" stands as a testament to the power of innovation, resilience, and a deep love for culture and history. As we bid adieu to this inspiring couple, we are left with a renewed appreciation for the richness of Paris' African-diaspora history, as well as an excitement for what the future holds for Parisian tourism.

Visit their website at Entrée to Black Paris