Tag: World's Worst TouristsView All Tags
It's time again for the now-annual Expedia survey results on the world's best and worst tourists: and the French have done it again. Done it again on the wrong end of the scale, that is, because the survey 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.
Ouch. At the top of the list were the oh-so-polite Japanese, again, followed by English, Canadian, German and Swiss tourists. In some interesting individual categories, the Japanese were named as the least likely to complain and the Italians won the best fashion sense gong, while Americans, Italians and Spanish scored the top three spots in the "loudest tourists" section.
Keep this info in mind when choosing your travel companions in the future and you might end up having a better trip.
· French Tourists Still the World's Worst [Time]
· World's Worst Tourists: The French Who Only Speak French [Jaunted]
· Japanese Tourists Are the Best [Jaunted]
We’ve had the Aussies picked as bad tourists before, but we didn't really expect their own government to start complaining--now we're reading articles slamming "whingeing, irresponsible, cut-rate Australian tourists" who are costing the country a fortune.
The Department of Foreign Affairs in Australia has said that this year will probably be the first time that the country reaches a magic "double thousand". They mean that more than 1,000 Australians will die overseas and more than 1,000 of them will get arrested. Not bad for a population of only 21 million.
The biggest problem, it seems, is the expectation Aussies have that the local Australian embassy will bail them out of whatever problems they get into, regardless of the travel advice or warnings given. It's probably not just the Australian government who doesn't want to spend millions getting their citizens home when they've walked into a risky spot. Don't say we didn't warn you, mate.
· Aussies Abroad: It's An Ugly Picture [The Australian]
· World's Worst Tourists: Drunken Aussies on Japanese Slopes [Jaunted]
· World's Worst Tourists: Aussies Recklessly Emit Carbon [Jaunted]
The Japanese truly are an overly polite people. Remember back in April, they decided to limit tourist access to Tokyo's famous Tsukiji Fish Markets? The new rules were that tourists had to show up before 6.15am and were meant to be confined to one designated spot during the big tuna auctions.
This obviously didn't work out. The poor fishmongers and tuna auctioneers have still had to put up with a blitzkrieg of camera flashes and tuna-touching tourists--not what you want if the tuna's headed to a classy sushi restaurant.
From December 15, tourists will be banned entirely from the early morning auctions, a decision that's probably quite fair. But the Japanese are still too polite to ban us forever, so it's just for a month--perhaps after that any tourists who've completed Fish Auction Etiquette 101 will be allowed back in.
This week, the international incident award goes to
Spain the UK*, whose citizen dove into the moat around the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. Even better, the guy proceeded to flail around like an obnoxious gaijin:
The middle-aged man jumped into the water, climbed the palace wall and splashed water at police who tried to catch him from a row boat.
Oh, yes, it gets better...
Ever felt guilty for flying to your vacation because of all those carbon emissions your plane is pumping out? Unless you're Australian, there's no need. According to a recent Sydney Morning Herald opinion, because Australia's so far away from pretty much everywhere, and because Australians really love to travel, then Aussies who fly to Europe or America are really doing a pile of damage to the planet.
Scoffing Aussies might be sobered by this fact: A Sydney to London return trip emits about 9 tons of carbon dioxide per passenger, which is the same amount this passenger would use in two years of eating, driving, heating and air-conditioning at home.
Add to this the fact that you always bump into Australians wherever you travel overseas--they really are everywhere--and you can see the problem. Do Aussies have to start staying home now? Maybe. But wouldn't the bottom drop out of the global beer market if traveling Aussies weren't there to prop it up?
· Are Australian Travel Junkies Destroying the Planet? [Wired]
· Globetrotting Boomers Fly in the Face of Carbon Reality [Sydney Morning Herald]
· World's Worst Tourists: Drunken Aussies on Japanese Slopes [Jaunted]
This won't be the first time we've mentioned how Britons have "rows" instead of arguments. American Express did a survey about the current vacation habits of the British, given the so-called credit crunch, but discovered that most of them don't care about that at all--and think much more about holiday rows.
The stats show that almost half of the survey respondents argue about how much stuff is being crammed into suitcases before the trip even begins; two in five have arguments stemming from getting to the airport on time (or not).
The cost of a vacation and the kind of accommodation are also issues that induce quite a few arguments amongst traveling Brits, according to the survey. The biggest problem seems to come from people in Yorkshire--one in five have to turn around to pick up something they left at home.
Travel company Expedia surveyed 4,000 hoteliers around the world to find out what they thought of the world's tourists. The Japanese were named the most popular guests earning high marks for "tidiness." Chinese, Indian and French tourists earned the lowest marks on the list. The French were specifically cited for being too "fiscally conservative." Ouch!
We always thought Americans had a reputation for bad behavior abroad, but US tourists were near the middle of Expedia's rankings, tied with the Thais in 11th place. Guess the hotel staff surveyed haven't had too much contact with American exchange students.
The British are also known for poor conduct while traveling, and they were named the world's worst tourists in both 2002 and 2007, but this year their standing has improved by leaps and bounds. The Brits were tied with the Germans as the second most popular guests on Expedia's list. Must be saving all their bad behavior for the London Underground these days.
[Photo: St Stev]
Love or loathe the English? The latest Rough Guide for England has a few choice things to say about them. First the bad news: It says that English people are quarrelsome, contradictory and "obsessed with toffs and C-list celebrities."
The good news is more, well, quaint, than good. The Rough Guide people decided that England is
A country of animal-loving, tea-drinking, charity donors, where queuing remains a national pastime and bastions of civilization, like Radio 4, are jealously protected.
We've heard a few complaints about the British before so this quirky Rough Guide assessment comes as no surprise. But since we love a good cup of tea, we haven't struck England off our visiting list just yet.
Not that long ago we warned that some groups of Chinese tourists were still learning how to be tourists. But today we want to applaud them for catching on faster than most of us to the reality of organized tours.
This week in Macau, a group of 100 Chinese tourists loudly protested their guided tour when it didn't live up to their expectations. The tourists complained that they were being pressured into buying souvenirs; they wanted to see more historical sites instead. The conflict came to a head when their tour guides refused to allow them back on the coach to get their sweaters when they were taken to a windy beach (presumably to buy more stuff they didn't need).
Riot police had to be called in to calm the tourists down. Nobody knows what happened next, but we can only assume the guides got revenge by taking the group to the most boring historical site available.
[Photo: Rache's Photos]
We once thought that Australians abroad were considered a bit exotic, and perhaps even cute and cuddly like those koalas they have down under. But a recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald has painted at least some Australians as the world's worst tourists.
Turns out that some of the Aussie visitors to the Japanese ski slopes are behaving badly. Take this example, from a bartender in Niseko:
They get drunk, take off their clothes, sometimes smash glasses and have fights--like it's fun.
Last Japanese ski season there were numerous reports of vandalism and bar brawls, with Aussie tourists throwing both glasses and punches. Worst of all, some drunken Aussies were parading around the Japanese ski resorts knocking the heads off snowmen. We reckon that should be a punishable offense.
Sometimes it's no particular nationality that makes our list of the World's Worst Tourists, but a whole bunch of idiots from all over the world who just have no idea how to behave. Like the case of the elephant harassers in southern Africa.
In bygone days, tourists who went on safari in Africa were more likely to be khaki-wearing, binocular-carrying scientific types with a keen sense of animal rights. Not anymore. The tourist minister in Namibia has had to issue warnings to tourists to behave more appropriately around elephants, after a number of tourists were killed by irritated, trunk-waving beasts. An experienced guide complained about situations like this one:
This big old bull (elephant) was drinking on the Kwando River, but he wasn't active enough for these tourists. So they started revving their engines, blowing the horn and banging the doors to attract his attention. Result? He charged them. Next time he sees a 4WD, he'll charge that, too, because these boys don't forget.
It's the self-drive tourists who reckon they don't need a guide that cause the most problems, so if you're traveling in southern Africa watch out for these elephant harassers.
Despite an Expedia survey suggesting Germans were the world's most popular tourists, anecdotal evidence seems to suggest the opposite. In a BBC Talking Point forum, German tourists were frequently mentioned. Of course, there are a whole stack of German tourists out there, increasing the probability that they'll annoy somebody, somewhere.
Excuses aside, apparently it is not only their habit of putting their towels on pool chairs before dawn that's considered very annoying: a traveler who'd backpacked around Asia said they'd seen a lot of German tourists "treating the Asians quite rudely". A tourist worker from Bali described German tourists as the most arrogant on the planet, and someone who'd worked in a London restaurant near a major tourist attraction said "the rudest tourists tended to be either very young or very old Germans".
One commenter even said they had "caught a German stealing from the tip plate on the bar more than once in Tunisia". We've heard Germans are supposed to be stingy, but stealing from the tip plate?!