French Most Obnoxious European Tourists, Survey Finds | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 08.07.2008
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French Most Obnoxious European Tourists, Survey Finds

A recent survey found that it wasn't the 'Ugly American' who ranked highest on a recent obnoxious traveler list, but the French. They tend to complain, be impolite and disregard local customs, the poll found.

Sun-bathers on an Italian beach

French travelers aren't beloved by the hotel industry; Germans rank higher

The survey, sponsored by the French travel website, found that French travelers are often unwilling to communicate in a foreign language, pinch pennies to an extreme, and have an overall unpleasant attitude while on the road. Employees in 4,000 hotels in Germany, the UK, Italy, France, the US and Canada were polled.

The survey asked respondents to rank clients by nationality according to criteria such as politeness, tendency to complain, willingness to speak local languages, interest in local cuisine, generosity, and others.

All in all, French travelers landed in 19th out of 21 nations worldwide, just ahead of Indians and last-place Chinese, and far behind the Japanese, who ranked as the most polite, quiet and tidy.

Americans, long burdened with the reputation as being unpleasant abroad, came in 11th place. They are often the biggest-spending and best-tipping tourists, which could have to do with gratuity customs in the United States and the fewer vacation days Americans get, allowing them to spend more money when they are on holiday.

After the Japanese, the most-liked list was headed up by the Germans, British and Canadians. However, Germans, many of whom travel extensively, are also seen as being stingy when it comes to opening their wallets.

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