Italian tourists are the most annoying, while Dutch holidaymakers are bad tippers, according to a recent survey of safari operators in Southern Africa.
The survey, conducted by SafariBookings.com, asked more than 400 safari operators – or Land Rover jockeys as they are affectionately known – to rate guests from various parts of the world, based on a range of criteria, Lowvelder reported.
The criteria included friendliness, tipping, punctuality and respect for local customs.
Americans came out tops, with no less than 85% of the surveyed operators rating them as pleasant to very pleasant, friendly, having a great sense of humour and tipping generously.
Italians, on the other hand, were singled out as the least-favoured safari tourists, with more than 18% of operators saying that they were “very annoying”, seldom on time and completely ignored guides’ instructions.
A stunning 45% of operators indicated the Dutch are the worst tippers. Of all other nationalities, only the French came close to them in the “poor tipping” department.
According to the owner of Kruger Track and Trails guided safaris, Stephen Pieterse, his experience is also that the French and Dutch are notoriously bad at tipping. He agreed that the Americans are some of the most pleasant guests, but felt that Australians and New Zealanders could be added to the list.
“I think guests from the US, Australia and New Zealand are more similar to South Africans than some of the other nationalities,” said Pieterse.
When it comes to difficult customers, Pieterse explained that in his experience Indian, Russian and Norwegian clients top the chart.
“I have heard rumours from French and Italian guests that in their respective countries certain establishments refuse to cater to Russians. But in my experience it is very often Indian guests who make the highest demands and are very quick to point out that they expect to see all of the Big 5.”
He added, however: “Although some nationalities do have general traits, I prefer to look at them as difficult individuals, and every country has them.”
– Caxton News Service