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The World’s Worst Tourists? Americans Agree, It's Us

New LivingSocial Survey Finds Americans Think We Are World's Worst Travelers;
78 Percent of Americans Have Visited At Least One Foreign Country; 40 Percent Have Stolen from Hotels

WASHINGTON--March 2, 2012-Tired of the “ugly American” stereotype of U.S. travelers abroad? A new LivingSocial survey conducted among more than 5,600 respondents in five countries by Mandala Research discovered that Americans ourselves believe we are the world’s worst tourists. The survey found that Americans, Canadians and Australians all gave U.S. tourists that dubious distinction, while the Irish identified their British neighbors as the worst, and the British called out the Germans for bad travel behavior.

Despite these self-doubts, respondents dismissed another common misperception: that most Americans have never traveled abroad. The survey found that 78 percent of Americans have visited at least one foreign country, 61 percent have visited multiple countries, and 36 percent have traveled to four or more foreign destinations. The average number of countries visited was more than four.

“Our survey puts the old wives’ tale to bed that only 15 percent of Americans own passports,” said Dave Madden, GM of LivingSocial Escapes, North America. “Americans turn out to be pretty active globetrotters, with the average person having visited at least four countries. Unfortunately, Americans have pretty low opinions of themselves as travelers, so it’s time to turn on that Yankee charm and improve our global image.”

Among other findings of the survey:

Sticky Fingers

Four in ten U.S. travelers (39%) admit to having stolen something from a hotel during a visit. The most common items pilfered were towels (28%), bathrobes (8%), batteries (5%), pillows (4%), remote controls (3%), sheets (3%), bibles (3%), and umbrellas (3%).

Staycation Nation

Two-thirds of employed respondents (65%) said they had taken at least one “staycation” in 2011 by using vacation time to relax at home.

All Work and No Play Makes Jack an American

Americans reported far fewer vacation days from work last year –16 days off – than their peers in Australia (27 days), Canada (21), Ireland (28), and the UK (23). Of those days off, Americans spent 10 days traveling outside of their home city and just under four outside the U.S.

Tough to Cut the Cord

Two-thirds of respondents (66 percent) say they check their e-mail or cell phone while on vacation.

Vacation Horror Stories




Percent of Americans who have experienced the following on vacation:
Airline lost luggage

21%
Hit by a weather disaster

21%
Got extremely lost

19%
Overcharged by a salesperson

16%
Missed a flight or connecting transportation

16%
Had an injury, severe illness or medical emergency

11%
Ran out of cash or couldn’t access money

8%

Blacked out or had a hangover from too much booze



7%

Couldn’t find a bathroom in time

7%
Got pickpocketed or robbed

5%
Got bitten by bedbugs

5%
Experienced local strikes or civil unrest

5%
Forgot or lost passport/ID

5%
Victim of a scam

3%
Got arrested or had a run-in with the law

3%
Broke up with a significant other

4%




World’s Worst Tourists




Americans say the country with the worst tourists is:
United States

20%
China

15%
France

14%
Japan

12%
Russia

11%
Korea

9%
India

9%
Germany

8%
Spain

7%
Britain

5%
Canada

5%
Italy

4%
The Netherlands

3%
Ireland

2%
Switzerland

2%
Australia

2%




Top Ten Dream Destinations

When given their choice of dozens of world wonders to visit, Americans picked their top ten dream destinations as:
1. Great Barrier Reef, Australia
2. Eiffel Tower, France
3. Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
4. The Colosseum, Italy
5. Disney World, Florida, USA
6. Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
7. Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA
8. Buckingham Palace, London, UK
9. Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy
10. Great Wall of China, China

Celebrity Travel Companion

Of the nation’s most followed Twitter users, Americans would most prefer to travel with:
1. Ellen DeGeneres
2. Oprah Winfrey
3. Taylor Swift
4. Leonardo DiCaprio
5. Katy Perry

The LivingSocial Vacation survey is part of LivingSocial’s ongoing efforts to discover and share information about local social trends and behavior.

Methodology

The LivingSocial Vacation survey was conducted online in February 2012 among 4,000 Americans in the top 20 media markets (DMAs) and 1,600 additional respondents in Australia, Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. The survey was conducted by Mandala Research, LLC. Respondents were not limited to LivingSocial members.

About LivingSocial

LivingSocial helps people around the world find, share and enjoy great local deals and new experiences. We'll help you get more out of your city. Through its daily deal e-mails and alerts, LivingSocial introduces members to handpicked local businesses, products or services each day at significant savings. With a range of products for different interests, like Families and Adventures, LivingSocial helps delight members with the perfect deal for them. Other services include LivingSocial Escapes, which features easy "vacations in a box" to leading destinations, and LivingSocial Instant, which helps members discover real-time discounts at nearby restaurants, stores and businesses. LivingSocial works with each merchant partner to create customized marketing solutions that attract and retain loyal, long-term customers. Based in Washington, D.C., LivingSocial now has more than 60 million members in more than 20 countries.

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Contact: 

LivingSocial
Blake Rouhani, 202-695-7037
blake.rouhani@livingsocial.com

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