Americans View Selves as “Ugly Tourists”

Americans View Selves as “Ugly Tourists”

Chicago : IL : USA | May 24, 2012 at 9:54 AM PDT
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Americans tourists travel the world taking advantage of cheap airplane tickets, discount hotel rooms, and cheap vacation packages. In somewhat surprising news Americans view themselves as the world’s worst tourists according to a LivingSocial survey conducted among over 5,600 respondents in five countries.

Americans low opinion of themselves was shared by the Canadians and Australians. However the Irish rated Britons the worst and the British identified the Germans as being the most loutish.

The following were the percent ratings by country of the worst tourists according to U.S. respondents: Americans (20 percent), Chinese (15 percent), French (14 percent), Japanese (12 percent) and Russians (11 percent).

Four out of 10 American respondents confessed to having stolen or “accidentally” packed hotel property other than sample toiletries, with towels at 28 percent being listed as the most frequently pilfered item.

This online survey was conducted in the U.S. in February in the top 20 media markets and has a margin of error of 1.5 percent.

Of the American respondents, 78 percent have visited at least one other foreign country and 36 percent report to traveling to four or more foreign destinations.

Whether American tourist behavior abroad is as bad as it seems appears to be open to interpretation. Some psychologists believe that Americans are more frank about acknowledging their flaws. Americans tend to see being open, honest and willing to share their thoughts as more of a virtue than citizens from other countries.

Elsewhere such openness is often view as a weakness. Americans are often more self-deprecating than other cultures.

For a long time America held a dominant position in the world and was more socially and culturally isolated from others around the world. Globalization has started to reverse this phenomenon.

Americans’ favorite travel activities, including photography, eating out in new restaurants and meeting new people exposes them to other cultures when abroad which in turn makes many of them better tourists.

Sdrobinson is based in Omaha, Nebraska, United States of America, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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