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World's Worst Tourists - Surprise It's Not The Ugly Americans

Yahoo News and Reuters Life today posted the results of an Internet agency Expedia - polled by TNS Infratest - to determine which tourists worldwide have the worst reputation.

Honestly, when I saw this headline on Yahoo (Reporting by Joseph Tandy; editing by James Mackenzie) I was sure they were going to point fingers as American who are also sometimes referred to as "ugly Americans".  Nope.

Believe it or not, the French tourists won the award for the worst tourists Internationally based on the survey of 4,500 hotel owners around the world.

Why did the French place so poorly in the travel survey?  "It's mainly the fact that they speak little or no English when they're abroad, and they don't speak much of the local language," Expedia Marketing Director Timothee de Roux told radio station France Info. 

Of course they are also seen as impolite and tight fisted when it comes to leaving tips for good service.

"The French don't go abroad very much. We're lucky enough to have a country which is magnificent in terms of its landscape and culture," he said, adding that 90 per cent of French people did their traveling at home.

"So when they're on holiday they can be a bit stressed, they're not used to things, and this can lead them to be demanding in a way which could be seen as a certain arrogance."

So who are the best tourists?  The Japanese ranked top of the Best Tourist survey, with the British and the Germans judged the best of the Europeans.

Ironically during the early years of my marriage to my now deceased husband, we traveled extensively both in the United States and in parts of Europe.  Michael was fabulous with foreign languages (he spoke, French, Russian, Spanish and some German) so we were able to speak the language whenever possible.

We spent a lovely two weeks in France.  Although we were not fond of the experiences we had in Paris,  we fell in love with the South of France, especially Nice, Caan and Antibes.  The French people in those cities were amazing.  I was very impressed by the French tourists we met (from Paris) who were staying in some of the hotels we occupied.

I can understand that there may be a misconception of French tourists if they are uncomfortable with the different languages or speaking English.

At this point I am just relieved that the #1 bad tourist was not American since I believe we should all be on our very best behaviors when we are visiting anywhere.  Whether someone else's home or their country.

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