Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The survey of hoteliers from around the world

'Ugly American' still fits, hotel survey finds

12:00 AM CDT on Sunday, June 8, 2008

By SUZANNE MARTA / The Dallas Morning News Suzanne Marta

It seems the "ugly American" stereotype of U.S. travelers overseas is a tough one to shake.

[Click image for a larger version] DOMINIC FAVRE/The Associated Press
DOMINIC FAVRE/The Associated Press
The Dutch soccer team, if true to the country's reputation, should be well-behaved at a hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland, where members are staying this month for the European championship games.

The United States didn't make the top 10 in nations recognized for having the world's best travelers, according to a survey released by online travel agency Expedia last week.

The survey of more than 4,000 hoteliers from around the world measured several factors, including behavior, manners, generosity, tidiness, willingness to learn the local language and a propensity to complain.

Hoteliers rated Japanese travelers the best, followed by visitors from Germany, Britain and Canada.

Travelers from the U.S. ranked 15th, with a score of 42 out of 100.

Hotel managers reported that Americans were among the worst-behaved and worst-dressed, left the messiest hotel rooms and were the most likely to complain.

That's not to say we don't have our selling points.

Hoteliers also said Americans were some of the most generous and were more likely to learn the language or sample the local cuisine.

Among other findings:

• The most popular tourists in their own country are the Canadians, Belgians and Swiss.

• The least popular tourists in their own country are the Spanish, Mexicans and French.

• French tourists are viewed by hoteliers as the most "fiscally conservative," followed by the Dutch and the British.

• German, Japanese and British tourists are considered the tidiest hotel guests.

The survey was conducted March 18-27 by online marketing research firm TNS Infratest.