Thursday, October 27, 2011

The World's Best/Worst Tourists Of The Day

Don't shoot the messenger. Article from

Given their nation's long reign as the world's most visited country, you'd expect the French to know a thing or two about insufferable tourists. It turns out they do — and are proving it to the rest of the world.

In a poll carried out by online travel site Expedia and released on Thursday, July 9, French tourists were viewed as the orneriest for the third year running. The Expedia poll says French travelers are the biggest skinflints, the worst tippers and the least able or inclined to speak foreign languages.

They also finished next to last in terms of their politeness and behavior. (The worst offenders in both those categories were—wait for it—Americans, who were also designated most likely to complain.)

Even where it did score well in the survey, Team France suffered stinging humiliation. Not only were the French denied the Best Dressed championship by the Italians, for example, but they lost second spot to the Brits — whose fashion sense is usually likened to that of the poll's slob champs, the Yanks.

But this third annual bruising of French pride should be taken with a pinch of salt. There are several aspects of the survey that make its methodology suspect — and results significantly skewed. The poll ranks 27 nations' travelers over nine behavioral categories. But it questioned just 4,500 respondents, all of whom work in hotels around the world. That probably cuts out people who meet less-refined backpacking hostel denizens, campers and legions of Winnebago warriors.

Rankings (best to worst):

1. Japanese
2. British
3. Canadians
4. Germans
5. Swiss
6. Dutch, Australians (tie)
8. Swedish, Americans (tie)
10. Danes, Norwegians, Finnish, Belgians (tie)
14. Austrian, New Zealanders (tie)
16. Thais
17. Portuguese, Czechs (tie)
19. Italians, Irish, Brazilians (tie)
22. Polish, South Africans (tie)
24. Turkish, Greeks (tie)
26. Spanish
27. French

Full article here.


  1. They also finished next to last in terms of their politeness and behavior. (The worst offenders in both those categories were—wait for it—Americans, who were also designated most likely to complain.)

    The French are rude? This is the first I've heard of this, I am shocked!

    The Americans being seen as rude actually is a shock. I honestly think it's more a perception foreign people expect to see so they read it into anything a visiting American does.

    Ask to get another water cause a roach is floating in yours? Rude Americans.

    Accidentally get into the wrong line because every sign is in the native language? Rude Americans.

    Take a little too long trying to figure out the phone system? Rude Americans.

    Which is why the only times I've been out of the country I slapped a Maple leaf patch on my backpack so people won't make assumptions.

  2. Once when my parents came to visit me in the UK, my father asked one of the Beefeaters (actually Yeoman Warders) at the Tower of London if he felt American tourists were rude. He answered, no, his experience had been that Americans were very interested and enthusiastic but overall very polite. Then he added "and the worst tourist group on earth? a group of 9 year old schoolboys from France"

  3. French people really are bad at languages, although they are at least trying to get better. English classes in French schools are an absolute joke!

    And they're bad tippers because in France, you don't tip. Service staff there just doesn't get paid as badly as everywhere else and they don't depend on the tips in order to survive. So it's not really the French people's fault- although you could blame them for not reading up on the countries' customs. What do they care about your customs when they're the greatest, civilized people of the world??

    I'm half French living in Germany, and even though I've told my brother-in-law that in Germany you tip 10 % if you've been happy with the service, he never does. I'm mortified by that and leave the tip when nobody's watching.

  4. @ cam7309: I guess people expect Americans to be rude because of the foreign politics of the past decade(s). America (as a country) acted as if it owned the world, and people expect the American people to be just like that.

  5. when i was in turkey and spain i noticed worst tourists were russians, germans, brits and greeks. russians and germans are so rude. greeks must use parfumes and musn't be that noisy.



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