According to the VisitBritain manual, Russian tourists love their breads. - Photo from Wikimedia Commons
Here are some observations from the official manual released by the British government for its tourist industry workers.
CHINESE tourists are known to have an aversion to ghost stories, Russians have a tendency to spend more than they can afford, and Australians almost never tip unless the service is exceptional.
These are just some of the innocent, albeit stereotypical observations made by VisitBritain. The British government’s tourism agency had released a well-meaning official manual for tourist industry workers with the intent of helping them cater to the needs of foreigners during visits to the country.
It’s just too bad they didn’t take into consideration the fact that actual tourists might actually chance upon the open-access documents.
Russians, for one, are described as “cold and not very open or polite”, but when it comes to dining, the “hearty eaters” and “big bread lovers” are to be served brown bread with three hot meals a day.
On the other hand, Chinese tourists apparently avoid “beds that are too soft” and four-poster beds, as these allegedly lead to “ghostly encounters”.
And, despite having “a tendency to change their minds quite frequently”, Indians will engage in bargaining voraciously “whenever they see an opportunity”.
That’s not all, Indian tourists also allegedly like to ask “unnerving personal questions” (in good faith, that is) and avoid credit cards as they’re too complex and invite “temptation”.
Those closer to Britain weren’t spared, either. The French apparently don’t “smile or make eye contact with strangers” and are “private people”. However, they won’t think twice about challenging you or complaining “if something is not to their satisfaction”.
On the other hand, Germans are described as “demanding, aggressive and rude”. They are also meticulous when it comes to planning and are obsessed with cleanliness. And Australians are “sarcastic” and “intolerant” due to long flights.
Despite the backlash, VisitBritain has defended the guide, citing it as an important part in making the country a top destination.
“Our market intelligence reports provide an unrivalled source of information on inbound tourism, allowing British businesses to gain an invaluable insight on key markets globally,” said VisitBritain’s marketing director Joss Croft in a statement.
It takes all kinds ... of tourists