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Who are the world's worst tourists? - 07-09-2009, 06:15 PM

French tourists seen as world's worst: survey

Thu Jul 9, 6:06 am ET
PARIS (Reuters Life!) – French tourists are the worst in the world, coming across as bad at foreign languages, tight-fisted and arrogant, according to a survey of 4,500 hotel owners across the world.

They finish in last place in the survey carried out for internet travel agency Expedia by polling company TNS Infratest, which said French holidaymakers don't speak local languages and are seen as impolite.

"It's mainly the fact that they speak little or no English when they're abroad, and they don't speak much of the local language," Expedia Marketing Director Timothee de Roux told radio station France Info.

"The French don't go abroad very much. We're lucky enough to have a country which is magnificent in terms of its landscape and culture," he said, adding that 90 per cent of French people did their traveling at home.
"So when they're on holiday they can be a bit stressed, they're not used to things, and this can lead them to be demanding in a way which could be seen as a certain arrogance."

French tourists are also accused of generally spending less than other nationalities when abroad.

De Roux said the French, not accustomed to leaving large tips at home where a service charge is automatically levied on restaurant bills, can seem "tight-fisted" compared with other nationalities.

The Japanese ranked top of the Best Tourist survey, with the British and the Germans judged the best of the Europeans.

But French tourists received some consolation for their poor performance, finishing third after the Italians and British for dress sense while on holiday.

HOW THE WORLD RANKS TOURISTS

BEST TOURISTS
1. Japanese
2. Britons
3. Canadians
4. Germans
5. Swiss

WORST TOURISTS
1. French
2. Spaniards
3. Greeks
4. Turks
5. South Africans

MOST POLITE
The Japanese

MOST IMPOLITE
The French

MOST QUIET
The Japanese

MOST FRUGAL
The French

MOST CLEAN
The Japanese

MEANEST TIPPERS
The French


(Reporting by Joseph Tandy; editing by James Mackenzie)

Last edited by MMM : 07-09-2009 at 06:18 PM.
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07-09-2009, 06:24 PM

This is funny because I worked at a couple of amusement parks when I was younger and we all thought the Japanese were. They took cuts in line, pushed people out of their way, and spoke very loudly. After living in Japan I realized that they did this because they were finally free of the constraints of their society and were just very excited. They did tip very well which is amazing since they don't tip in Japan.
We never saw as many French people, so I guess our opinions were wrong.


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07-09-2009, 06:27 PM

I saw that survey thing a while ago.
The French being the worlds worst tourists seems so stereotyped. But seeing as I've never met one who am I to judge.

But I have noticed many Japanese tourists (in NYC) are polite, and quiet.

But British in the top? I read a different report that said many British tourists were responsible for alcohol related misbehavior and just being rude when abroad.
And at least from being in Japan with a group of people some of them lived up to the bad stereotypes of people from the U.S in other countries.

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07-09-2009, 06:31 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJnohara View Post
The French being the worlds worst tourists seems so stereotyped.
I agree. It feels like the stereotype that says that French people are rude. I never trust these surveys. There are different cultural ideas of what's rude and what isn't across the world. One thing may be rude to one person, but go to another country and it might be completely acceptable. So, for these surveys, who gets to decide what's rude and what isn't?


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07-09-2009, 06:32 PM

Unless I am reading it wrong this poll was released today.
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07-09-2009, 06:34 PM

so the majority of worst tourists are Europeans. Funny i always thoutht spanierds were the worst.


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07-09-2009, 06:34 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by mercedesjin View Post
I agree. It feels like the stereotype that says that French people are rude. I never trust these surveys. There are different cultural ideas of what's rude and what isn't across the world. One thing may be rude to one person, but go to another country and it might be completely acceptable. So, for these surveys, who gets to decide what's rude and what isn't?
It's a survey of hotel staff who deal with people from all over the world in their hotel...from hotels from all around the world. So sure, there are different cultural ideas, but the question becomes, who makes the effort to not be rude in said culture and who doesn't. It seems the French, in this case, don't make that effort, and is probably why 90% of French travelers don't leave the country.
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07-09-2009, 06:41 PM

I always thought British tourists would be amongst the worst. Apparently we're loud and get drunk a lot.

And I know that a lot of Brits expect people in foreign countries to speak good English...
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07-09-2009, 06:42 PM

mercedesjin: Yeah, there are different cultural standards for what is rude and some people may not know (Unless you're doing them all without realizing? :S ). But thats why I think if you're traveling abroad (especially to a country like Japan) you really need to do your research before you go.

MMM: I read the same thing, or at least something very similar to this in the local news paper a while ago.

Zagato289: Yeah, why trying to make Europeans look bad huh?

clairebear: The British and people from the U.S do have a tenancy to expect everyone to speak english, which really pisses me off. (No offense)
I think its because both cultures are pretty linguistically homogeneous.

Last edited by DJnohara : 07-09-2009 at 06:54 PM.
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07-09-2009, 06:44 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MMM View Post
It's a survey of hotel staff who deal with people from all over the world in their hotel...from hotels from all around the world. So sure, there are different cultural ideas, but the question becomes, who makes the effort to not be rude in said culture and who doesn't. It seems the French, in this case, don't make that effort, and is probably why 90% of French travelers don't leave the country.
First, I read that article on Yahoo and I didn't see any references to where this survey was being taken. I didn't see anything said about the survey being taken all over the world. It didn't give a list of specific countries. If I missed it, please point it out.

Moving on from that, though... How can someone make an effort to not be rude in another culture if they don't know about that culture?

If you're going to say that there's information in things such as guidebooks, I personally don't think those are so helpful. I can go out and buy a guidebook to how to act in Japan. I can learn not to sneeze in public and to slurp my noodles. Guidebooks don't teach a person everything about that culture, though. Guidebooks can't teach a person how to act in a culture - not as well as being born and raised into that culture. So while a person can think, "Make an effort to not be rude," I think there's a strong possibility that a person may or may not know what is rude - because, like I said, ideas of politeness vary from culture to culture.

One last thing: maybe you can say "it seems that MOST of the French," because it's not best to make generalizations like that.


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