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Old 01-16-2018, 07:21 PM
Location: On the road
5,947 posts, read 2,895,036 times
Reputation: 11392


Originally Posted by just_because View Post
The whole 'American tourist' thing is blown far out of proportion
Agreed 100%. People repeat this but I've seen a ton of tourists from all over in all sorts of countries, not only are Americans not any louder or demanding they are also usually liked by locals.

Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
I think you might be paranoid by thinking they are singling out Americans. Contrary to popular belief, according to studies, American's are not considered undesirable tourist at all when they are rated by nationality. On the other hand, we are considered one of the more generous (particularly when it comes to tipping). Greenback bring the appreciation.
Yep, there have been countless times when people who have found out we're American have become excited about it and gone out of their way to be kind or take the extra effort to help us out. The whole "everyone hates Americans" thing is a bunch of BS.
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Old 01-16-2018, 07:23 PM
4,338 posts, read 2,266,244 times
Reputation: 5589
I have had lots of one-off experiences where I was treated badly

Taxis in China
Occasional French retail employee
Pretty much any German clerk outside of a bar (they are nice there)
Italians in the train/bus stations
Vietnamese men who see you walking with Vietnamese girl
Pretty much any Local man - tourist woman interaction in the GCC/Arabia
Any crowded bus ride in SE Asia or China
Any Jamaican Vendor whom you refuse to engage
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Old 01-16-2018, 07:24 PM
Location: On the road
5,947 posts, read 2,895,036 times
Reputation: 11392
Originally Posted by Ddhanks View Post
We've seen that when some tourists, from America, go abroad, some act like they should be treated well. And not a word or syllable of the foreign language.
I'm trying to figure out where you're coming from here... someone who doesn't any of a local language isn't deserving of good treatment? That is absurd, people deserve to be treated well with respect and dignity regardless of their linguistic prowess. I can't imagine being in my home country, encountering a tourist who doesn't speak my language, and deciding to treat them poorly because of it. If I did the problem would be with me for being a jerk, not them for failing to learn to say hello in my language.

Originally Posted by SFBayBoomer View Post
You don't need to speak the other languages fluently or even close to it, but not to try is extremely rude.
Says who? I never saw an etiquette guide that not trying to speak a foreign language in another country is rude, this sounds like something some tourists believe to pat themselves on the back and think themselves better tourists for learning to say a greeting or count to 10.

Here's a scenario: you're at the park in USA enjoying the day and two lost tourists walk up holding a map, look at you and say "Guten tag, wo ist der Geldautomat bitte? Der ATM?" Would you seriously be aghast at how rude they were? I'd greet them and do my best to figure out what they were saying so I could help them out and give them a good impression of my country and people, the last thing that would come to mind is being some drama queen all offended that they didn't learn enough English to greet me and ask in my own language.

Would you be offended and consider them rude?

Last edited by lieqiang; 01-16-2018 at 07:35 PM..
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Old 01-16-2018, 07:56 PM
Location: Cebu, Philippines
4,419 posts, read 1,676,659 times
Reputation: 8040
How come nobody has mentioned Mecca yet? Noln-muslim visitors are prohibited entry into the city. From WikiTravel:

WARNING: Only Muslims are allowed to enter the city of Mecca. The penalty is deportation from the country. Documentation will be checked upon entry and anyone not showing proof of being a Muslim will be denied entry. As a solitary exception, the Mecca bus terminal (outside city limits) is open to all. If you somehow get into Mecca as a non-Muslim, and you are found out, the civilians might get to you before the government does. In this case, you could suffer beatings, or even murder.

Last edited by cebuan; 01-16-2018 at 08:09 PM..
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Old 01-16-2018, 08:05 PM
Location: Sydney Australia
597 posts, read 353,150 times
Reputation: 885
Originally Posted by LaBuenaVida View Post
There are language translating apps that are great! We used it a lot in China - didn't even know about it until the Chinese owner of a restaurant used it on us!
Yes, we found the Chinese most helpful in trying to assist us and they just love their apps. We were on a group tour for nearly a month last May. We have travelled independently before in China and it is not easy so we preferred a tour this time. I have great sympathy for the Chinese. Older people like us have had a very difficult time in their younger days. Our guide described how bad the famines were for her grandparents. We found the local tourists, on the whole, fine. They seem to really enjoy being able to see their country and good luck to them. They are learning western etiquette quickly. Our guide spoke about going to concerts and shows even five years ago where people would chat on their phones and that is much more unusual now. We saw many instances of queuing which we have not seen on other visits. Chinese people helped me up the very steep steps up the Great Wall when my DH had raced ahead with his camera.

Small details of etiquette vary a lot even between western countries. Generally here it is needed to ask for the bill as they do not want to appear to be trying to get you to leave.

When my daughter worked in hospitality they did courses on cultural differences between the different nationalities. It is not rude in many languages to ask directly for something without a please or thank you. The language probably has a higher modality.
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Old 01-16-2018, 11:34 PM
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
7,664 posts, read 4,712,277 times
Reputation: 28074
Originally Posted by PriscillaVanilla View Post
This. I would never go back to Paris, not just because of the animosity towards Americans, but the city was dirty and polluted, and street vendors trying to push people to buy things. It's a shame. I'm sure it was a beautiful city perhaps fifty years ago.
Nah. I was there fifty years ago as a teenager and it was dirty then.
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Old 01-17-2018, 04:13 AM
3,274 posts, read 3,695,935 times
Reputation: 5438
Why didn't you title it as "Places where American tourists are not welcome"? if that was the point of your question? You made it sound like you were asking the entire world the question.

Anyway, my answer to your question, besides obvious ones like North Korea, Syria, Iraq, etc., is the United States. I have always felt unwelcome in your country particularly when dealing with embassy staff and immigration/customs officers. The people are a toss-up. Some are very friendly and some are very unfriendly. That's my honest answer.

If the U.S went back to having normal, decent customs officers like in the 1980s-90s, then I may consider visiting again.

I don't see what the big deal is with Paris. The people again are a toss-up, on average no more friendly or unfriendly than Americans.
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Old 01-17-2018, 04:19 AM
Location: On the road
5,947 posts, read 2,895,036 times
Reputation: 11392
Originally Posted by cebuan View Post
How come nobody has mentioned Mecca yet?
The thread was about tourists not being welcome, not certain religions being prohibited. Mecca accepts over ten million faith tourists every year, so clearly tourists are welcome.
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Old 01-17-2018, 05:09 AM
1,177 posts, read 479,141 times
Reputation: 1932
Originally Posted by just_because View Post
At least in Europe, this is simply not the case.

English is the unversersal language in Europe. Therefore, speaking English in Europe is simply not like just going somewhere and speaking just any foreign language. I'm certainly not saying that everyone in Europe speaks English or that you shouldn't try to speak local languages as that certainly has benefits. However, it's not the case that English is just some foreign language in Europe.
In my experience, this is true, at least in Western Europe. However, is usually considered polite to ask if someone speaks English first before diving in. In fact, I've had several people thank me for asking them this. Only once, in Vienna for some reason, did anyone take offense at me asking this -- it was a bagger in a grocery store, and the huffy reply was something along the lines of "Of course I do. Everyone speaks English in Vienna."
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Old 01-17-2018, 05:37 AM
12,292 posts, read 18,413,572 times
Reputation: 19160
Every so often these surveys come out of "worst tourist" and it tends to vary, but lately the Chinese seem to top most lists. Americans rarely top the lists. On this one from hotels.com surprisingly Brits came in #2. Actually if you read the fine print the worst are domestic tourists (i.e. tourists from ones own country):

Who are the world

The caricature of the loud and demanding US tourists is long gone amongst the tourist sites although I see we made #4 on the above list, perhaps contributed by the fact that when I travel I simply see...lots of Americans. Ironically this thread feeds the caricature, and it show because WE (in the US) declare ourselves the worst tourists WHEN WE POLL OURSELVES:


Stop being so hard on ourselves. Rudeness is not limited to a nationality.
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