The Dislike-O-Meter

Anti-tourist graffiti in Barcelona

Graffiti in Barcelona expressing a not-unusual sentiment, via flickr.com

 

You’re on vacation at some global beauty spot, all set to commune with nature, when you run into drunk, loud or rude tourists. You dislike them immediately, of course. According to Urlaubs Tour, which polled 8,100 Germans on which tourist nationalities they dislike the most, Russian, British and Polish tourists are most disliked because they’re too loud, too drunk and ill-mannered. Germans list fellow Germans as dislikable mostly because they reserve sun loungers (69 percent!). Further down the list—though still high on it—are Americans and Italians, who are too loud. The Chinese have no manners, and the French are rude.

The main question asked was, “Tourists from which country do you like the least during your holidays and why?” Interviewees could choose between 12 different nationalities: Russian, British, Polish, Dutch, American, Chinese, French, Italian, Japanese, Austrian, Swiss and German. The answers, which Urlaubs admits are prejudiced and clichéd, get very specific: Brits and Americans, for example, are disliked because 40 percent and 38 percent, respectively, exhibit bad manners while eating; respondents also found 40 percent of the French, 36 percent of Poles and 26 percent of Chinese simply unlikeable.

Germans don’t have a monopoly on frustration with tourists, of course. Some U.S. cities are currently struggling to balance their efforts to boost the number of visitors against the rights of annoyed residents.

What to do? Well, not much. Travel brings us in contact with different people, cultures and customs, many of which we find off-putting. But, as most everyone will tell you, travel broadens one’s horizons as well. And so we continue to go.

—Katharine Fong