PARIS (AFP) - Penny-pinching, rude and terrible at foreign languages: French people are the world's worst tourists and Japanese the best, according to a study of the global hotel industry.
Carried out last month by TNS Infratest for the Expedia online travel agency, the study asked 40,000 hotels worldwide to rank tourists from 27 countries based on nine criteria, from their politeness to their willingness to tip.
Clean and tidy, polite, quiet and uncomplaining, Japanese tourists came top of the crop for the third year running.
At the other end of the spectrum, French holidaymakers and business travellers were the least generous or ready to tip, and ranked next-to-last for their overall behaviour and politeness.
Pushy French travellers made amends on elegance -- classed third -- as well as for their discretion and cleanliness.
But the French were the least ready to try a new language, unlike US tourists who were most likely to swallow their pride and order a pizza, baguette or a paella in the local lingo.
US tourists also got top marks for generosity -- as the biggest spenders and tippers -- but fell short on other counts as the least tidy, the loudest, the worst complainers, and the most badly dressed.
Despite cliches about beer-guzzling hordes descending on Mediterranean resorts each summer, Britons came a surprise second for their overall behaviour, politeness, quietness and even elegance -- second for dress sense only to the Italians.
But the model Japanese were followed by Canadians as the least likely to whinge when a trip goes wrong.
France's rivals for the "worst tourist" tag, Spaniards and Greeks came near the bottom of the pack in almost every category.
The study was released on Thursday
"Moreover, you scorned our people, and compared the Albanese to sheep, and according to your custom think of us with insults. Nor have you shown yourself to have any knowledge of my race. Our elders were Epirotes, where this Pirro came from, whose force could scarcely support the Romans. This Pirro, who Taranto and many other places of Italy held back with armies. I do not have to speak for the Epiroti. They are very much stronger men than your Tarantini, a species of wet men who are born only to fish. If you want to say that Albania is part of Macedonia I would concede that a lot more of our ancestors were nobles who went as far as India under Alexander the Great and defeated all those peoples with incredible difficulty. From those men come these who you called sheep. But the nature of things is not changed. Why do your men run away in the faces of sheep?"
Letter from Skanderbeg to the Prince of Taranto ▬ Skanderbeg, October 31 1460
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