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12 August, 2013 16:03   ▪  

CSIS: British and French Vie for “Worst Tourists” Title

The survey of 4,500 hoteliers named the British as the worst tourists in Europe, but the French the worst worldwide. Center For Strategic and International Studies writes.

Despite their traditional desire to score points off each other, the British and French are competing for the title of “worst tourists,” following publication of a study of touristic behavior by nationality conducted by the Expedia travel company. The survey of 4,500 hoteliers named the British as the worst tourists in Europe, but the French the worst worldwide.

Despite their traditional desire to score points off each other, the British and French are competing for the title of “worst tourists,” following publication of a study of touristic behavior by nationality conducted by the Expedia travel company. The survey of 4,500 hoteliers named the British as the worst tourists in Europe, but the French the worst worldwide.

READ ALSO: The French Way

Rather than focus on the poor showing of France, England’s traditional enemy, much of the British media highlighted their own country’s embarrassing bottom rating in Europe, while the French media returned the compliment by focusing on France’s “worst tourist” rating globally. Both countries seemed perversely proud of winning a booby prize.

Britain’s Press Association headed its story Britons "Worst-behaved Tourists in Europe", while the Daily Mail reported, “travel is supposed to broaden the mind. But for many Britons, going abroad still seems to be an opportunity to prove that no other tourists can be as oafish. It's an accolade we win easily.” The PA published a league table of the world’s best tourists, showing Japan at the top and the United States sharing eighth place with Sweden.

READ ALSO: Britons: World's Worst Tourists

The BBC, however, went straight for the jugular on the other side of the Channel, starting its report, “French tourists are the worst in the world, coming across as penny-pinching, rude and terrible at languages.”

The French news agency AFP, on the other hand, followed the general trend by ignoring the sorry British performance in Europe and instead castigating French behavior overseas. Under the headline Pushy French are world’s worst tourists, the agency reported from Paris, “penny-pinching, rude and terrible at foreign languages, French people are the world's worst tourists.” It added, “Clean and tidy, polite, quiet and uncomplaining, Japanese tourists came top of the crop for the third year running.”

The French daily Le Figaro said it had received a huge number of comments from readers who were not at all surprised that France had won the gold medal for obnoxious tourism. “Fortunately,” wrote one reader, “only 50 percent of French people go on vacation. Otherwise the results would have been even more dramatic.” Many others made a distinction between rude Parisians and less objectionable tourists from other parts of the country.


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