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French tourists among world's worst: survey

Matthew Warren · 12 Mar 2012, 09:23

Published: 12 Mar 2012 09:23 GMT+01:00

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An international survey asking people to rank the world's worst tourists has placed the French just behind Americans and Chinese.

The survey, conducted by American travel website Living Social, asked 5,600 people their views about the behaviour of tourists from around the world.

Americans finished top of the survey, even among the Americans who were taking part. 

20 percent of those surveyed ranked tourists from the US as the worst.

Chinese tourists were named by 15 percent of those asked and the French were just behind at 14 percent.

The tourists likely to be most welcome were from Australia, Switzerland and Ireland, all being named by just 2 percent of people.

The survey also found that around four in ten people had stolen something from a hotel room.

The most common items to be taken were towels (28 percent), bathrobes (8 percent), pills (4 percent) and remote controls (3 percent).

France is the world's top tourist destination and 2011 was a record year for visitors to Paris, with numbers up by 3.5 percent.

However, French tourists have been named and shamed in the past.

A survey in 2008 asked hotel workers in six countries to name the worst tourists, and those from France were considered the worst in Europe.

The biggest complaint was that the French were bad at tipping and more likely to be critical and rude.


Matthew Warren (news.france@thelocal.com)

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Your comments about this article

2012-06-04 18:36:48 by ospite
The biggest complaint about the French is that they are notoriously stingy at tipping. Yet it is well known that Americans are the most generous tippers overall in the world. Still the Americans rank as the worst tourists. I would like to know what the main reason could be.
2012-04-17 15:12:59 by gadjoproject
Hard to avoid broad sweeping generalizations because each case is different, but yeah there are certain tourists who get mentioned frequently. The main complaint about French tourists is the tipping thing and the Guide du Routard. If a menu item is even slightly different that what it says in the Routard, the French can sometimes throw a fit and engage in a long dispute with the manager. I have found that if you explain to French people how things work, they're generally understanding and learn to adapt. Working in hospitality around the world, I've never had a bad Japanese tourist. They're considered, among those who work in the industry, to be some of the most respectful and easygoing tourists. Hong Kong Chinese are extremely friendly. I've heard some reports about Mainland Chinese being a bit pushy, but I'd need to see it for myself. Americans get a bad rap but really, they're not nearly as bad as the English. Ask hotel and restaurant people from around the world and they have horror stories about rude English couples and families. Australians get a lot of time to travel and are generally well-liked but there's been some bad reports lately of rowdy young Aussies. BBC had a report not long ago basically saying they were the new "ugly Americans abroad".
2012-04-10 04:40:27 by volvoman9
Point taken.
2012-03-25 12:36:13 by buster
Perhaps because I am British, when I am in France, which is quite often, I find the British the most cringeworthy tourists/immigrants, very often rude, loud and uncouth, particularly estuary man who has sold his council home and moved across to pollute France. My background ? borne in a council house to a builders laborer and his cleaner wife. Volvoman9 don't be too hard on your fellow countrymen,in my visits to America I met those of which you write but also many many wonderful kind and courteous Americans, as for lacking worldly sophistication, you have to admit when you live in a country as large as the U.S. it's a bit difficult to see over the edges ;0))
2012-03-21 04:48:38 by volvoman9
Every country has it's boorish. The French always get a bad rap as do the Americans. Most tourists see only French city dwellers and think them rude. I would suggest that most city dwellers anywhere are rude. Try New York or London or Rome and Berlin. The rural French are wonderful. Now Americans abroad are in my opinion the worst. This is usually due to a lack of sophistication. They come from a huge country where mostly they are all alike unlike Europe where one will most likely be exposed to different cultures whether one wishes to or not. As an American and frequent traveler I try to avoid them if at all possible and will even speak another language to avoid being associated with them.
2012-03-13 17:21:15 by Shutter
I worked on a tourist boat in San Francisco for ten years, about 300-400 people per trip, six trips a day. Tourist groups from specific countries were (and are) aboard every day, every run, usually 50-100 people per group. The worst? By far? Israelis. Incredibly, unbelievably rude and abrasive. By far the worst. Hope I never see another tour group from Israel the rest of my life. Second worst? Surprisingly, Dominicans. At the least the rich ones that are accustomed to having slaves at their beck and call 24/7. Demanding boors. Third? Americans. Mind-numbingly stupid, dull, uninterested in anything. The best? Australians. By far. Friendly, easy-going, talkative, didn't expect me to kiss their rears. Liked to travel, liked to do new things. Japanese? Polite, follow-the-rules, never got drunk. Chinese (mainland)? Well-behaved, fish out of water tourists. Chinese (Taiwan)? Arrogant but ok. Oh yeah, French tourists? Pretty much ok, some arrogant, most not.
2012-03-13 15:51:02 by JTU
..but the americans won this..no wonder, and just because they can't keep their big mouths shut! That is the real problem. AND the americans don't have any manners like european cousins...therefore I try to select a hotel without any american guests! ( ...and I am not French! nOT commenting because of the first stupid comment here)
2012-03-12 19:33:43 by MOI
Most " French" tourists are anything but truly French.
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