Worlds Worst Tourists
Jason Buckland - MSN Canada
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March 12, 2012

If you could whip up the perfect tacky tourist in a lab, what would it include? Novelty-sized camera hanging from a strap? Check. Head buried in a folded-out map? Sure. Fanny pack? Oh, my. Yes.

Indeed, there are several undeniable characteristics of lousy tourists, but how can you peg just who is the worst? Deal site LivingSocial recently asked some 5,600 respondents across five countries* to name the nation whose tourists are the most terrible, looking at who they consider to be loud, rude and obnoxious. Which tourists are the most reviled across the globe? Click through to find out.

* Countries surveyed: U.S.A., Canada, Australia, Ireland and Britain. Percentages are average scores based on those five nations' responses.

6% said Spaniards were the worst tourists

There may be little separating Spanish tourists from, say, Italian tourists (5.6 per cent of survey participants said Italians were the worst travellers), but what binds them together is one thing: the Irish hate 'em both. Ten per cent of Irish respondents said they thought Spanish people were among the worst tourists, while 11 per cent of the Irish said the same about Italians.

7% said South Koreans were the worst tourists

Most nations' tourists are disliked by one country more so than another, but Korean travelers are equally reviled across the globe. According to LivingSocial's survey, respondents from Australia (nine per cent said Koreans were the world's worst tourists), Canada (seven per cent), Ireland (five per cent), Britain (six per cent) and America (nine per cent) all appear to detest Korean tourists at roughly the same rate.

10% said Russians were the worst tourists

Russian tourists, with their reputations as rude alcoholics with no knowledge of basic etiquette — their words, not ours! — are considered the eighth-worst travelers on earth, but two countries' citizens specifically dislike them most. The Irish (13 per cent said they were the lousiest tourists) and English (12 per cent) are the nations least likely to welcome Russians with open arms.

11% said Indians were the worst tourists

Last November, The Hindu newspaper reported on an increase in Indians travelling Down Under — a spike of some 10.4 per cent in 2011, according to Tourism Victoria in Australia. Yet, if you buy LivingSocial's survey, the influx has not been welcome. Of the five nations that responded to the deal site's questionnaire, Australians were most likely to identify Indians as some of the world's lousiest tourists; 18 per cent said travellers from India were the worst.

11% said the Japanese were the worst tourists

There's plenty to read into this LivingSocial survey, but there's also reason to exercise caution when citing its results. To wit: to the European respondents to this survey — participants from Britain and Ireland — Japanese tourists were not a hit; eight per cent of Brits said they were the worst on earth, 12 per cent of the Irish said the same. So what's the fuss? According to hoteliers across Europe, who responded to a similar survey in 2007, Japanese tourists were voted the best in the world — polite, respectful and tidy — beating out Americans and the Swiss for the top spot.

13% said the Chinese were the worst tourists

Canada has been wooing Chinese tourists for years, and in fact Stephen Harper made a plea just last month for more Far East travellers to visit the great, white North. Perhaps the PM did not consult with his citizens, however. According to LivingSocial's survey, 18 per cent of Canadians thought the Chinese were the world's worst tourists, a sum bested only by the Australians, 19 per cent of which said Chinese travellers were the least pleasant to have visit.

14% said the French were the worst tourists

The French and their stereotypes. Certainly, without addressing any in great detail, the French have a reputation across the globe, and it's reflected clearly in this LivingSocial survey. Of the nations that responded, double-digits — that is, at least ten per cent — in all five countries said the French were the worst tourists in the world, a well-rounded disgrace matched only by one other nation of the 16 countries considered in the survey.

14% said Brits were the worst tourists

In terms of annual vacation time, Brits fall about right in the middle of the pack among countries surveyed by LivingSocial, taking 23 days off each year (compared to 21 for Canadians and 27 for Australians). Though, when the English do travel, they're able to make quite a splash. Just this year, two Brits were allegedly denied entry to the U.S. not for failing a luggage scan but for a Twitter conversation they had a week earlier. According to the Daily Mail, one user's insistence she was going to 'destroy America' and her travel companion's pledge to '[piss] people off on Hollywood Blvd (sic) and [dig] Marilyn Monroe up' did not sit well with the Transportation Security Administration, which detained the Brits upon their arrival at LAX.

17% said Germans were the worst tourists

As Canadians — as North Americans, really — it's tough to figure just what's so reviled about German travellers: only eight per cent of Canadians, compared to the same eight per cent of Americans, said Germans were the worst tourists on earth. So, why do they score so high? Ah, simply take this poll to the U.K. to find your answer. A whopping 26 per cent of Irish respondents said Germans were the lousiest travellers, a sum bested only by the British, 31 per cent of which said no one beats the Deutsche when it comes to terrible tourists.

29% said Americans were the worst tourists

You know, relatively speaking, Americans don't travel all that much, reporting to LivingSocial they take only 16 vacation days each year, a low sum when compared to nations like Australia (27) and Ireland (28). Still, in their limited time spent abroad, Americans are able to make their mark, scoring with an overwhelming consensus as the most detested tourists on the planet. Survey respondents won't say exactly what they dislike about Yankee travellers, but perhaps the most surprising result was what we said about Americans here at home. Canadians, us humble, kind people, reported we hate American tourists most; 39 per cent of Canuck respondents said no travellers on earth were worse than our neighbours to the south.

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