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New Study Finds the 13 Worst Types of Tourists

Travel News
by Olivia Harden Sep 12, 2022

Whether this is your first or hundredth time visiting a place, you are a tourist. To some, the word tourist alone has a negative connotation, especially when you consider that there are plenty of tourist-targeting scams out there. But ultimately, being a tourist is the trademark of a chance for adventure — at least as long as you do it correctly. No one wants to be the type of tourist who gives the word “tourist” such a bad name. The International Journal of Tourism Research recently published a study that tried to narrow down the worst types of tourists that people can’t stand.

To find the worst types of tourists, the International Journal of Tourists study used 2088 comments from 10 subreddits posted between 2014 and 2019 that used the keywords “tourist bad behaviour.” Then, it used the comments, username of the poster, and date of the post and manually copy-pasted onto a word document labeled with the subreddits name. The study created a coding template to match the statements from the Reddit comments with recurring themes. Two authors checked and rechecked the themes against the data collected, which were then grouped into overarching themes based on the aim of the research.

The researchers finally broke the worst types of tourists down into 13 major groups, with the percent of people who said that was the worst offender:

13 worst types of tourists

  1. Culture disregarders: 20.9 percent
  2. Disrupters: 19.7 percent
  3. Photo clickers: 9.7 percent
  4. Litterers: 7.8 percent
  5. Safety ignorers: 7.6 percent
  6. Host abusers: 6.3 percent
  7. Drunkards: 5.9 percent
  8. Destroyers: 5.3 percent
  9. Reckless drivers: 4.2 percent
  10. Animal abusers: 4.0 percent
  11. Queue cutters: 3.2 percent
  12. Careless parents: 3.0 percent
  13. Lawbreakers: 2.3 percent

The most hated group of tourists were the cultural disregarders, meaning people who broke cultural norms of the host population. The second was disrupters. This deviates from cultural disregarders because it specifically relates to people who disrupt the quality of life and daily routine of locals — like people who are obnoxiously loud on a typically quiet beach. Photo clickers are also not found fond of, though not in the double digits. These tourists are the ones who take photos at inappropriate moments, like in front of war memorials. Next was people who litter. And rounding out the top five are the safety ignorers — people who do things like try to get too close to the bison in Yellowstone National Park, an activity which sometimes ends in serious injury.

So the next time you head out into the world, know that you will inevitably be a tourist. Just be a respectful tourist.

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