Being a “good tourist” according to Brits

When in holiday mode, many people sometimes forget that they are a guest in another country and therefore, fail to ensure their behaviour is always respectful of the visiting destinations local culture and customs.

A recent study by market research firm YouGov damningly found that 57% of Brits have a negative view of their own travellers (i.e. British tourists) when they are in other countries. Interested in the traveller’s behaviours and actions, Taxi2Airport.com surveyed 1,782 Brits to discover the traits they most associate with being a ‘good tourist’.

The traits Brits most associate with being a ‘good tourist’
Leaning a few basic words/phrases in local language (e.g. hello, thank you etc.) 81%
Controlled alcohol consumption 75%
Not talking about sensitive topics in public (e.g. political/economic issues etc.) 70%
Tipping fairly 66%
Dressing respectfully/appropriately 62%
Not littering 59%
Willingness to try domestic cuisines/eat at local restaurants 54%
Trying to shop at local stores/buying domestically produced products/souvenirs 51%
Not haggling unnecessarily 48%
Attending and/or participating in local festivals/parades 43%
Not complaining about the price and/or quality of tourist attractions in public 37%
Open to using public transportation (e.g. local buses, trains, trams etc.) 26%

Taxi2Aiport found that majority of Brits (81%) believe for an individual to be a good tourist they should make the effort to learn a few basic words and/or phrases (e.g. hello, thank you, bye etc.) in the language of the country they are visiting.

Thereafter, 75% feel controlled alcohol consumption is very important for a person who is in a foreign destination. Especially true, given British tourists notorious reputation of being rowdy and uncontrollable when drinking too much.

In the third position, 70% think it is better not to talk about sensitive topics (e.g. economic/political/social issues etc.) in public – as it may cause offense and/or provoke a negative reaction from the visiting countries local citizens.

Interestingly, 54% consider trying domestic cuisines/eating at local restaurants a fundamental part of being a good tourist. Whilst 51% share the same sentiment about trying to shop at local stores and buying domestically produced products/souvenirs where possible.

On the other end, just 26% place a willingness to use public transport (e.g. local buses, trains, trams etc.) in the travelling country as a key part of being a good tourist. Slightly above, 37% deem not expressing in public any grievances/frustrations about the quality and/or price of tourist attractions as an essential aspect of a well-mannered traveller.

Furthermore, Taxi2Airport.com also sought to find out the factors preventing Brits from taking a more active approach towards an understanding and learning the culture/customs of a country before travelling there.

The main factors preventing Brits from understanding/learning a countries culture/customs before travelling
A lack of time/too busy 52%
Not knowing/unclear where to begin research 45%
Don’t bother, as likely to forget/not remember 36%
Don’t think visiting country’s culture/customs will be that different to home country 24%
Feel the effort to understand/learn culture/customs will not be appreciated enough by the visiting country’s citizens 17%

From this, Taxi2Airport discovered that a lot of Brits don’t make the effort to find out about the culture/customs of a country before travelling, as they don’t have the time/too busy (52%) to do so.

Subsequently, 45% take a back-seat approach towards familiarising themselves with the culture/customs of an overseas destination as a result of not knowing where to begin their research.

Surprisingly, 17% are influenced not to understand/learn a given country’s culture/customs as they believe their attempts will not be appreciated enough by the local citizens of the visiting country.

Yoon Sterkenburg, co-founder of Taxi2Airport.com, commented: “Whilst travelling is a fun and enriching experience, individuals need to be aware that culture and customs between their home and the visiting country will undoubtedly vary. With that comes a responsibility to acknowledge as well as be respectful of these differences. This research certainly demonstrates the behaviours and actions Brits think make a ‘good tourist’. With some very fascinating insights.”

Taxi2airport.comYoon Sterkenburg