Who are the world’s worst tourists?

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Traveller has revealed the world’s most hated tourists. But it’s not a single nationality that we can point fingers at. Tourists flood different pockets of the world and clash culturally with different regions, meaning that every country has its own favourite and least favourite visitors. Yet, some nationalities stand out overall as the world’s worst tourists.

In 2018, Chinese travellers took more overseas trips than any other nation; a whopping 150 million in total. So, it makes sense for them to sit high on the ‘naughty’ tourist list.

According to three-quarters of Singaporeans surveyed, one quarter of Australians and 40 per cent of Thais, Malaysians and Vietnamese, Chinese are the worst tourists.

However, in countries with a smaller portion of Chinese tourists, the locals seem to look on them more favourably. In most European cities only 10 to 20 per cent of people voted Chinese as the worst tourists.

Apparently Germany and Denmark have something to say about Russian tourists, with one third of people voting them as the world’s worst tourists. Around a quarter of other Nordic countries agree.

According to tourism-review.com, 42 million Russians travelled abroad in 2017, of which only 15 million people travelled for tourism purposes. So, it’s fair to say they have a big – negative – impact for their numbers.

If anything describes the global opinion of British tourists, it’s this; even their own countrymen can’t stand them. In fact, one quarter of British people voted the British to be the worst tourists in their own country.

Less than a quarter of British people think they are viewed favourably when they travel. Shockingly, 60 per cent of British tourists have a negative opinion of other British tourists when they travel abroad. They may have low self-esteem, but at least they’re self-aware.

While it is fun to point fingers at the world’s worst tourists, we should also acknowledge the world’s best. Drum roll please … Japanese! In Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Finland, France and Germany, Japanese travellers were voted as their best-loved tourists. It appears that the stereotypes of Japanese people being polite, tidy and well-spoken are true.

But what of us Aussies? We’ve either heard news reports of bad behaviour, particularly in nearby Bali or Thailand, or seen them firsthand. Sculling drinks for literal buckets, getting aggressive on the streets, refusing to wear anything but thongs to visit temples … the list goes on. It’s no surprise that seven per cent on Indonesians voted Australians their least favourite tourist, yet shockingly to some, 14 per cent also voted Aussie’s to be their favourite.

In fact, 28 per cent of Indians and 31 per cent of Vietnamese have voted us their favourite tourists.

We fail to get a significant mention in most countries’ bad books, yet we have the third worst self-impression of any country. It appears that we’re hyper aware of our bad behaviour, but that it doesn’t bother our host countries as much as we expect.

How do you think you’re seen when you travel? Who are your favourite and least favourite tourists?

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Written by livga


Total Comments: 8
  1. 0

    I’ve always found most Aussies abroad to be pretty good and reasonably well liked by the locals, the exception being when they are in Bali or on the Gold Coast. As for the rudest tourist I’ve ever met the Indians win that title hands down, but also many Indians I’ve met have been really good, the worst and best hosts I’ve met are the Italians, the French, the Dutch, the rudest hosts I’ve met are the Swiss, the Germans and the Brits are much the same and seem to mix much better than other tourists except when the Brits are in Spain, too much cheap grog is the usual problem, I think overall you can find good and bad in every nationality, but a few people will only look for the bad, the majority of people I have personally met on my travels have always been good especially individuals or small groups, I was surprised that Americans didn’t top the list, quite often when there are groups of them they can be quite obnoxious and loud but again as individuals they can be very pleasant.

  2. 0

    Germans are a bit autocratic and appear rather ‘above themselves’ they seem to think they deserve the best service!

  3. 0

    Jim said
    Entirely agree. A constant feature of Americans noted on my many foreign excursions.
    is that Individually, they are usually OK, often very helpful, but get two or more of them together and they seem to want to out do each other , even unconsciously, in an arrogant assumption that they are superior and can virtually do what they want and get away with it as their US embassy will always be on their side and take precedence over local laws.
    Not all smaller groups are like that of course, but very many are.

  4. 0

    Have to agree with Chinese being reportedly the rudest. They don’t believe in waiting in line like anyone else, just try to push in and when spoken to about it and even when hand gestures are used to make a point they pull the old “No speak English” trick. They could learn a thing or two from their Japanese neighbours who are very polite.

    • 0

      Not only in when travelling but in their own country. Very rude and ‘entitled’ and the younger generations are the worst. The single child policy made for some incredibly spoiled kids. Chinese also don’t get the idea of queuing.

  5. 0

    Japanese tourist’s trying to push in front of everyone, struck a couple of batches of Americans that would upset us, but overall brillant to get along with. The Aussie voice can be loud (Guilty as charged) but had no issues in Europe UK Ireland and America.

  6. 0

    I have no complaints about any foreign tourists. A few individuals stand out as highly boorish and a few more were seen to not handle pressure to well but no nationality was predominant. In fact, I have found the number one target, the Chinese well-behaved.

    When travelling we are probably harder judges when it comes to Australians but even then the vast majority have seemed fine to me.

    We can do our best to be sensitive to local preferences and still get it wrong. Hosts generally seem very gracious remaining respectful of the smallest attempts.

    A pretty happy experience I think.

    A rider, I travel with my fairly young family and would seldom be near seamlier or perhaps rougher haunts and we never take guided tours.

    Jim noted the Gold Coast and yes we see ourselves there and in a few other places around the nation and if less open-minded could sometimes hope for a little more decorous behaviour.



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