London - American tourists, with their loud voices and brash demeanour, have a less than stellar reputation abroad; but according to the people who serve them across the globe, they might not be so bad.
Travel insiders have revealed stories of American travellers behaving badly, but sometimes, completely charmingly.
While a hotel manager in Cambodia told Condé Nast Traveler “New Yorkers are a tough lot”, one Kenyan safari guide said: “Americans are probably the kindest and most generous people we work with.”
A flight attendant from a large international airline blamed New Yorkers for the inexperience of crew members on certain flights.
“If you’re on a flight with a lot of junior crew members, it’s because that flight’s passengers have a bad reputation,” the flight attendant said.
“New York to south Florida is one of the worst. They don’t appreciate anything. They don’t say thank you, and they don’t return a smile… There’s something about putting a bunch of New Yorkers on a plane.”
But a front-desk clerk in a hotel in Nice, France, said Americans had been missed since the recession.
“They’re really polite to everyone,” the clerk said. “We used to make fun of Americans for not knowing their fingers from their toes in terms of European history and geography.
“But… the guests who are filling their shoes come from cultures where it’s acceptable to be harsh or abusive to people who serve you, which has been a real shock to us.”
A tour guide in Berlin said: “Americans are a lot sweeter and more curious than most,” and the Kenyan safari guide thinks US tourists might be too sweet for their own good.
“They’re happy with everything we show them,” said the guide.
“But because of that, some guides take them for granted, treat them with laxity, and don’t give them the fullest experience.”
The hotel manager in Cambodia said New Yorkers were “not go-with-the-flow types at all!”
“The worst are single New York women over 30 travelling solo. They tend to be really demanding and needy and bossy all at the same time. If they haven’t found someone to travel with them by now, you know there’s got to be a good reason why.
“We recently had one who complained her feet were sore from sightseeing. We offered to bring her a tub of hot water and Epsom salts so she could soak her feet. When I delivered it to her room, she asked me if I would mind… giving her feet a rub while I was at it!”
A waiter in a Paris café said Americans’ “bizarre” coffee habits rub the French the wrong way.
“We don’t do cappuccino, mocha, all those crazy things you find in America, and we rarely have soy milk,” the waiter said.
As for trying to speak the language, he said: “I appreciate it when people try to speak some French, but you never ever call a waiter in a café ‘garçon’.
“I don’t know where Americans got this idea, but it’s insulting. If you want to catch my attention, you say, ‘S’il vous plaît’, and if you’re a pretty lady and feeling coquettish, you could try ‘Beau jeune homme’ (handsome young man) and see where that gets you.” – Daily Mail