Thursday, 5 April 2012

The World's Rudest Nations for Travelers

1. France
2. Russian
3. British
4. German
5. Other

Rounding out the top five rudest countries were the U.K., Germany and “Other” (those Others are the worst, don’t you think?). The U.S. placed 7th, behind China.

Some of the perceived rudeness may be attributable to cultural differences rather than anything intentional. For example, says Tatiana Danilova, Skyscanner’s Russian Market Manager, “the Russian language is not as polite as English, so when Russians translate directly from Russian to English, it can sound rude to an English speaker even if they don’t mean it to.”

“We were surprised to see Russians come in second place,” says Skyscanner’s Travel Editor, Sam Baldwin. He attributes this in part to the “familiarity breeds contempt” phenomenon. Although Russia doesn’t compare with the Mediterranean as a tourist destination, as visa regulations have relaxed, Russian holidaymakers are increasingly flocking to the Mediterranean and coming into contact with people from other countries.

The same principle may apply to the French: “As our closest neighbors, there has long been a familiar rivalry between the U.K. and France,” Baldwin says, and the preponderance of responses from the British Isles may have contributed to this result. Still, Baldwin says, “Even the French acknowledge that the way they are perceived is not entirely without basis.” (In France’s defense, I’ve always found Parisians to be just as rude to each other as they are to foreigners. Outside of Paris – and even within the city – people can be as gracious as anywhere.)

The British, for their part, voted themselves “world’s worst tourists” in a previous Skyscanner survey.

The countries rated as having the least rude locals were Brazil, the Caribbean and the Philippines.

Skyscanner claims to be Europe’s leading travel search site, operating in over 25 languages with more than 25 million visits and over 11 million unique visitors per month. It has offices in Edinburgh, Scotland and Singapore.

Here’s the complete list of responses:
Nationality       Percentage of votes

French             19.29
Russian           16.56
British             10.43
German           9.93
Other               6.37
Chinese           4.30
American        3.39
Spanish           3.15
Italian             2.24
Polish             2.24
Turkish           2.15
Indian                 1.90
Swiss                 1.90
Greek                 1.74
Croatian             1.57
Austrian              1.41
Cypriot                1.24
Egyptian              1.24
Korean                1.24
Norwegian           0.99
Australian             0.91
Dutch                     0.83
Irish                       0.83
Swedish                0.83
Japanese                0.66
Danish                   0.50
Canadian               0.41
New Zealand     0.41
Indonesian            0.41
Portuguese           0.33
Thai                      0.25
Filipino                  0.17
Caribbean             0.08
Brazilian                0.08

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