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Which tourists annoy locals the most

After three years of pandemic, not only holidaymakers know what they were missing.

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Which tourists annoy locals the most

After three years of pandemic, not only holidaymakers know what they were missing. The travel industry also breathes a sigh of relief in the hope of finally leaving the crisis behind. But as soon as something works again, the first complaints come because the customers behave badly.

And this despite the fact that overtourism destinations such as Amsterdam, Barcelona or Venice have used the Corona period to implement concepts against the tourist flood - such as fewer Airbnb offers, smaller travel groups or bans on cruise ships.

But no matter whether many or few holidaymakers visit a travel destination - there is a problem everywhere in the world: travelers are often disrespectful and rude.

The two New Zealand tourism scientists Ismail Shaheer and Neil Carr analyzed what annoys residents of vacation spots the most based on 2088 carefully selected contributions on this topic from the social news aggregator Reddit. It is about the social behavior of tourists that locals perceive as deviating from the norm. Five types are particularly unpleasant:

One of the things that most upsets locals is when visitors don't respect cultural norms. If you don't queue up, but push ahead, you may get away with disparaging looks.

But the lack of respect for sacred places such as churches, temples, mosques or famous monuments and disregard for local customs is something that evokes emotions among the population - and negative ones at that. For example, Reddit notes that immediately after the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001, Ground Zero in New York became a veritable pilgrimage site for tourists who happily posed for photos on site.

Everything that keeps local residents from everyday life is perceived as disturbing. Sometimes it even reduces their quality of life. So when roaring party-goers roam the streets of the old town at night, they may be having a good time, but the residents of the old town would rather have peace and quiet.

The same applies to visiting churches. Walking the holy halls chatting and taking pictures, especially during a church service, is simply disrespectful. But using the bench in front of someone else's house without being asked is also not appropriate. Private is private.

Traveling takes a lot of photos. After all, you want to capture what you have experienced. But more consideration and sensitivity is recommended. If you want to photograph the population in the host country because of their oh-so-picturesque traditional costume, ask beforehand if you can. If you don't think that's necessary, just imagine that a total stranger would photograph you and maybe your child without being asked. Wouldn't that be rude? Just!

Tactfulness and not encroachment are required when taking photographs. Some religions don't allow people to be photographed, some countries are extremely prudish, and it's also not appropriate to take a picture of yourself at memorial sites with a merry face.

Who disposes of empty beer cans or empty plastic bags at home in front of their own door? Probably only a few. But then why do it elsewhere? Just because there is no rubbish bin nearby and the prospect of having to lug the empty bottle halfway across town or the whole hike isn't exactly comfortable?

The anonymity of the crowd allows people to behave in ways that would be impossible at home. For example, a hiker in New Zealand wrote on Reddit: “The amount of garbage that international tourists leave behind is insane. It's not difficult to take your own rubbish with you."

There are people who believe that the world with its wild nature and living beings is safe, meaning there are no dangers. They should rather not leave their homes, because this assumption is naïve and risky, especially when travelling. Such people not only endanger themselves, but also others in case of doubt.

Hiking in the mountains without first checking the weather conditions is ignorant. Likewise mountaineering with flip-flops. Petting any animal that comes along can result in a bite – and possibly rabies.

Even the search for the best background for a selfie sometimes ends fatally. According to the Spanish travel safety portal Fundación iO, between January 2008 and July 2021 alone, 379 people died around the world when they tried to take a selfie but fell.

Hiking has been experiencing a real boom for a number of years, including among younger people. But hiking can also be dangerous, especially if you want to climb the mountains with the wrong shoes. The right preparation is everything here, too.

Source: WELT/ Peter Haentjes

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