tourist hating

Have lived in a tourist town, worked in the trade. Here’s how it goes during a good tourist season:
“Goddman tourists. Goddamn tourists. Goddamn tourists…”
Then, during a slow season:
“Where the hell are the goddamn tourists?!?”

We hate them partly because we DO depend on them.

I lived in Arizona for a while, specifically Tucson. I am going to classify snowbirds with the tourists, because they certainly don’t work there and only go there for the beauty of the land.

  1. They drive slow, and there are a lot of them.

  2. They constantly say “How do you stand this heat?” while fanning themselves. Well, if it’s that much of a problem, go back to Minnesota!

  3. They are destroying the environment.

Let me elaborate on this last point. Tucson especially is a delicate environment, where the ecosystem is balanced precariously on the brink of destruction. We don’t have water. Yet these IDIOTS expect us to pour millions of gallons of water over their stupid useless golf courses every summer, and they expect to grow their own grass on their condo’s lawn. The water situation is truly terrible. The mesquite are dying all over the town because their roots can’t reach the water in a drying aquifier.

Swarms of people descend from everywhere in the north to little vulnerable Tucson, and suck the water out of her like so many pleasure-seeking vampires. They take cacti home with them in cute little pots and gush about how much they like it there, it’s so beautiful!

The people who work there all year watch the trees die, watch the gullies stay dry and try to clean up the mess. They have a few months of incredibly hot weather but great driving conditions before the swarms of Q-tips come ravening back.

Sure, tourists spend money, but people can’t live off of little dyed slips of paper.

Everyone is always saying we should be darned grateful for the tourists!

Heck, where I live the *locals * all drive like that. Most tourists are too afraid for their lives to even attempt to drive around here! :smiley:

There are a lot of tourists who I cannot stand. They go wherever they’re going, don’t bother to learn the most basic sentences in the language - they just expect everyone to understand them and get annoyed when someone doesn’t. They creep along the sidewalks at about 0.5 miles per hour with no awareness that they are holding up a block of people. They go into places where you’re supposed to be quiet and you can hear them from the other side of the building. They go see the tourist attractions and exclaim loudly, “Well, OURS is better” or “This is IT??? What a rip-off” or “Hey, let’s see how far this piece of trash will fly if I throw it off this here monument thing we’re climbing.” They go into restaurants and say “What do you mean you don’t have ketchup here???” and “This is a LOT more expensive than it is at home” and “Ick, this food is gross - don’t you have cheeseburgers?”

Of course I’m speaking of American tourists who are visiting other countries. They have got to rank near the lowest on the Tourist Behavior Scale.

(Obviously not all Americans are like this. Just the ones who give everyone else a bad name.)

Ugh. I really try not to be a citiot. (city + idiot = citiot)

I’ve noticed that a common thread through these posts is that tourists stand in the damn way! Have you looked anywhere where there’s a lot of pedestrian traffic, such as a mall or university? You’ll always see some inconsiderate jerk stop in the middle of the hall/walkway to chat on their cell phone or with their friend, totally oblivious to the wave of people trying to walk around them. They’re clueless.

So it’s not necessarily that they’re tourists . . . it’s just that they’re idiots.

Here in Colorado we used to hate visiting tourists, until we discovered somthing worse. Tourists who never go home. Californians, Texans and midwesterners who came for a visit, then never left. If your tourists only stay for two weeks to anyoy you feel lucky, some of ours have been here for 30 years doing stupid stuff.

The difference between a tourist and a traveler is that a traveler remembers his manners.

Dude, I’m not one of these people. I’m a Sacramento ex-pat. Nobody from Sacramento (Rancho Cordova, at that) has the right to be snobby. I’m just explaining the dominent attitude around here- which is generally “tourist destroy the town with their low-brow tastes, but theres nothing we can do about because they drive the economy.”. This is a snobby town, full of snobby people. Don’t blame me.

I did forget about tourist related recklessness though. Northern California beaches are noted for their high cliffs and ice cold waters. Unfortunately, high cliffs and ice cold waters are known to kill people. We have a sign here that actually keeps a running total of people killed by ventureing out past the fence and on to that specific cliff. And yet every single day there is some stupid person sitting just past the sign reading a book or smooching with someone or whatever, just waiting for one of those freak waves they’ve been amply warned about to sweep them to a sea-borne death. And those folks arn’t locals. There are only so many times you can read “Person walks on cliff, wave comes up, person dies” in the newspaper before you get a healthy respect for the ocean.

I bartend on the Riverwalk in San Antonio; it’s the #1 tourist attraction in the state of Texas.

Ah, tourists…sigh

Everybody has already made valid points as to the reasons why tourists are annoying; I don’t hate them but dammit they can be annoying!

They think that any bathroom on the entire Riverwalk should be available to them, regardless of whether they’re patronising the business that owns the bathroom.

They think that any employee on the Riverwalk is there solely to give them directions and help them out; I’ve had countless numbers of tourists walk into my bar just to get directions to another bar. Or walk into my restaurant just to get directions to another restaurant. I used to work at a steakhouse, and people would walk in and ask for directions to other steakhouses. I’m sorry, but that’s intensely rude. Particularly when it isn’t, “I’m sorry to bother you, but would you mind telling me where X is?” Nope, it’s “I’m late for a dinner appointment at X; where is it?

[sub]And yes, if they’re particularly rude about it, I have been known to give wrong directions. I try to avoid the temptation, but some people are just begging for it. I know, I’m not proud.[/sub]

And yes, the cultural clash can be jarring; an honest question is just that, but a lot of people don’t even stop to think that what they’re saying may be offensive, or rude, or just plain stereotypical. I get a lot of, “So, what’s with all the Mexicans down here?” or “I noticed there aren’t many black people down here! Why not?” and its flipside, which is “I didn’t think there’d be so many black people down here! I thought it was all Mexicans and white people! Where do the black people come from?” “So why don’t you sound like a Texan?” “Everybody in Texas voted for George W., right?” “Why does Texas think it’s so cool?” “Why are Texans so, you know, proud of themselves? Like, what’s so special about Texas?

It wouldn’t be that big a deal if I didn’t get them so very often… but after awhile it’s hard to be gracious in the face of blatant stereotypes. I’d never go to another state and start dogging it to the natives, but tourists do it all the time. I don’t know why anybody would want to vacation in Texas just to find out if it fits all their negative stereotypes, but I find it annoying to defend my state all day long to people who aren’t even from here!

Anyway, therein ends my beef with tourists. They frequently pay my bills, so I can’t whine too much about them, but it would be nice if they were a little more respectful.

[sub]And also if they’d buy a damn map, for God’s sake.[/sub]

I grew up near one of the biggest tourist traps err “destinations” in the state of Michigan.(The one with the overpriced chicken)
I once saw this woman one time walk into the road-a major state highway-holding up her hand to stop traffic. She then turned around and took the picture of her family that she apparantly couldn’t get from the sidewalk.

Tourists are idiots.

I grew up in one of the biggest tourist traps in Michigan. Trying to drive anywhere between Memorial Day and Labor Day is an exercise in patience. It isn’t that they ask us when the Mackinac Bridge swings over to the island. It isn’t that they take pictures of every tree and blade of grass in sight. But there’s just so goddamned many of them!!! Eight months out of the year, this is a small town. In the summertime, it’s suddenly a metropolis (albeit a metropolis where the stores all close at five, or seven at the latest). The adjustment can cause some frustration.

My parents were fond of visiting Europe, and found that hotel employees, tour guides, etc., often misstook them for English people, even though they had lived in The United States their whole lives.

Although they considered themselves patriotic Americans, they took this as a great compliment. As a teen I accompanied them on a trip to Ireland, England, France and Portugal and quickly understood why they felt as they did.

Most of the posts in this thread concern the reactions of Americans to tourists, whether foreigners or fellow Americans.
Traveling abroad, one can often spot an American tourist from a great distance, as a great many of them are garish, loud, vulgar and obtuse.

On a tour boat on the Seine one day I sat behind an American woman and a French tour guide. On the bank of the Seine in Paris there is a scaled-down replica of The Statue of Liberty–a gift back to the French by an American group. The American woman turned to the tour guide and actually said: “You know, we have a Statue of Liberty in America, too”. You could see the other American on the boat cringe.

Then there are the American tourists who are quite open in their assumption that the natives of other countries all wish they were Americans instead, the ones who insist that the people living in the country they are visiting are the foreigners, and the ones who talk as though the grandeur of Grand Canyon or the Manhattan skyline are their personal accomplishments.

The tour guide merely responded that she had been up in it. The woman thought it was just amazing that a French person had been to The United States.

I have heard it suggested that the reason so many Americans don’t like French people is that they are often so much like Americans in their faults; I’ve met a number of French people visiting The U. S. who are rude, pushy, opinionated, and awfully prone to explaining to anyone and everyone that everything that in France is better, cleaner, and more convenient. I recall working at an information desk years ago, and having to restrain myself from telling a French woman that it wasn’t my fault if the bus system in Paris had more routes than the one in St. Louis.

The only tourists in Ireland that really bother me fall into two categories:

[1] Spanish students that travel in groups of at least a dozen at a time. It’s always the Spanish ones, don’t ask me why. And I’ve spent enough time in Spain to know they don’t seem to have any concept of the amount of space they’re taking up even when they’re in their own country - it’s ten times worse when they’re abroad. I’m surprised there haven’t been loads of traffic accidents in the Trinity College or GPO areas caused by people stepping on to the road to get around them, I really am.

[2] Englishmen over for stag parties. I’m sure they’re perfectly nice blokes when they’re in England (well some of them anyway), but put a group of them together and send them to Temple Bar and they become truly among the most loathsome people on the planet. And what’s worse is they seem incapable of understanding that women in Ireland do not find them or their patronising, chauvinistic, alcohol poisoned chat up lines remotely appealing.

In Berlin, I entered a small neighborhood bar. There was just the bartender and two older guys sitting at the other end of the bar. The bartender comes over to me and asks me in German what I would like. Of course I don’t understand a word of German, but I had learned to be polite and courteous, after all I was in Germany not Disneyland. So I say in a meek and humble tone, “Excuse me sir, but I only speak English, may I have a beer please?”. The bartender glares back at me, eye to eye, and replies in perfectly spoken English, “We don’t speak English here, thank you, goodbye”.

First time out of the country, in Frankfort airport. I walk up to a vendor and tell him I want anything except a Coke to drink. He hands me a Coke.

Next time, I am in Berlin. I walk up to a vendor and tell him I would like an orange soda. He replies, “You want gas?”. I say, “No, I want an orange soda”.

Touring some small town in Germany, we stop at an outdoor cafe for a break. I tell the waitress I would like a Coke please, I get a cup of black coffee with a shot of whiskey.

Checking into the hotel in Berlin. I realize I have to go potty bad enough that I can’t wait until I get my room key. So I go looking for the restrooms. I ask an employee of the hotel, “Where are the restrooms?”. She replies in a thick German accent, “You want to sleep?”. So I find another employee and ask her, “Where are the bathrooms?”. She replies in a thick German accent, “You want to wash?”. So I find another employee and ask here, “Where are the toilettes?”. She replies in perfect English, “They’re right over there sir”.

Their licience plates dont start with either the letter O or Q do they ?


I met a dude in Amsterdam that owned a pub there. We would sit out at one of the sidewalk tables and we would identify every tourist that went by. Those people are from Spain, over there, they are from France. He told me how he could identify tourist by the way they dressed and walked. Curious, I asked him how he could recognize American girls. He said, they have short little legs, wear big white tennis shoes and walk like Charlie Chaplin.


ccwaterback, are you posting some kind of humor? Or do you expect everyone on earth to just understand English? Maybe if you did 10 minutes of looking at a basic phrase translation book you would have figured out that asking if you want gas means do you want carbonated or not; and public establishments in Europe don’t have “restrooms” or “bathrooms.” The word “restroom” is unknown - asking if you wanted to rest was a perfectly legitimate remark. “Bathrooms” are found in private homes, not hotel lobbies, and yes, it’s the room you wash in - not the room the toilet is in. “Toilets” are those things where people relieve themselves.

Did you consider the possibility that the Coke/coffee mixup was just that you got the wrong delivery? Does that never happen in the U.S. that you order one thing and receive another? You said you don’t speak German so you either ordered in bad German or in English. Is it at all possible that when you asked for anything EXCEPT a Coke, the vendor thought you wanted a Coke? Or maybe he misheard you? Or did you think he should just understand your English perfectly?

If you posted in all seriousness, you are the kind of tourist who makes it bad for the rest of us.

ccwaterback, what was your point? I hope you were trying to be funny.

That would probably happen to you anywhere. Who tells the vendor what he doesn’t] want??

I don’t speak German, but in other languages “with gas” = soda. There was just a thread on the subject of “orange soda,” by the way, which might help explain why he didn’t understand.

Americans have short legs? :confused: