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

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

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French tourists among world’s worst: survey

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

French tourists among world's worst: survey
Archibald Ballantine

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.

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TRAVEL NEWS

Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

Car, moped, public transport, or electric bicycle - which means of transport is the quickest way to get across Paris?

Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

One intrepid reporter for French daily Le Parisien decided to find out. 

The challenge was simple. Which mode of transport would get the journalist from the heart of Fontenay-sous-Bois in the eastern suburbs to the newspaper’s office on Boulevard de Grenelle, west Paris, fastest?

Over four separate journeys, each one in the middle of rush hour, the electric bicycle was quickest and easiest. More expensive than conventional bikes, electric bikes do come with a government subsidy.

The journey was described as ‘pleasant and touristy’ on a dry but chilly morning going via dedicated cycle lanes that meant the dogged journalist avoided having to weave in and out of traffic.

It took, in total, 47 minutes from start to finish at an average speed of 19km/h, on a trip described as “comfortable” but with a caveat for bad weather. The cost was a few centimes for charging up the bike.

In comparison, a car journey between the same points took 1 hour 27 minutes – a journey not helped by a broken-down vehicle. Even accounting for that, according to the reporter’s traffic app, the journey should – going via part of the capital’s southern ringroad – have taken about 1 hr 12.

Average speed in the car was 15km/h, and it cost about €2.85 in diesel – plus parking.

A “chaotic and stressful” moped trip took 1 hour 3 minutes, and cost €1.30 in unleaded petrol.

Public transport – the RER and Metro combined via RER A to Charles-de-Gaulle-Étoile then Metro line 6 to the station Bir-Hakeim – took 50 minutes door to door, including a 10-minute walk and cost €2.80. The journey was described as “tiring”.

READ ALSO 6 ways to get around Paris without the Metro

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