The Worst Tourists and Best Hotels

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Last week, Fox News ran this headline: “Americans are world’s worst tourists, says new survey.” No surprise there, right? But it seems most Americans agree: When it comes to obnoxious tourists, we’re No. 1.

“Americans ourselves believe we are the world’s worst tourists,” says the survey from deals site LivingSocial. “The survey found that Americans, Canadians and Australians all gave U.S. tourists that dubious distinction.”

After polling 5,600 adults – 4,000 of them from this country – LivingSocial says we easily topped the list…

  1. United States – 20 percent
  2. China – 15 percent
  3. France – 14 percent
  4. Japan – 12 percent
  5. Russia – 11 percent

Perhaps one reason for our bad reputation is that we steal when we travel. Another interesting tidbit from the same survey: “Four in 10 U.S. travelers (39 percent) admit to having stolen something from a hotel during a visit.” Most of those items involve fabric…

  1. towels – 28 percent
  2. bathrobes – 8 percent
  3. pillows – 4 percent
  4. sheets – 3 percent

…but we’ve also taken the batteries out of hotel electronics (5 percent) and even the remote control to the TV set (3 percent).

Makes you wonder if we choose our hotels not only for the best deals, but for the best steals. And in fact, another new survey has rated our favorite hotel chains. Conducted by customer research firm Temkin, Marriott and Hampton Inn tied for first place…

Sadly, the survey didn’t ask about hotel theft as a factor in the rankings. But it did pose the following questions to 10,000 people in January…

  1. To what degree were you able to accomplish what you wanted to do?
  2. How easy was it to interact with the company?
  3. How did you feel about those interactions?

…and what it learned was this: “Super 8 and Motel 6 earned the largest increase over last year’s ratings. Heading in the other direction, Hyatt and Days Inn earned the sharpest decrease between 2011 and 2012.” (Maybe they need to put more towels and bathrobes in their rooms.)

Finally, let’s double back to that LivingSocial survey for a moment. It also asked about “Vacation Horror Stories.” Tied for first-and-worst were “airline lost luggage” and “weather disaster,” suffered by 21 percent of travelers. Money Talks News can help you on both counts: Check out 6 Ways to Keep Airlines from Losing Your Bags and 5 Reasons to Use a Travel Agent (because they can help you rearrange your plans).

Other helpful tips…

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