Want to blend in like a local and not betray yourself as a hapless tourist? Look up from your map or smartphone screen and pay more attention to your surroundings.
Because in a newly released Tourist Report Card 2014 report by Priceline.com, locals from San Francisco to New York City agreed that their biggest pet peeve is the bumbling tourist who stops in the middle of a busy sidewalk, bringing the flow of pedestrian traffic to an abrupt halt as they take photos.
Or the backpacker who boards the subway toting a rucksack the size of a small car, hitting fellow riders in the face with every small turn.
In addition to oblivious visitors, locals also named obnoxious, intoxicated youth and families with screaming children as the most annoying types of tourists.
Need inspiration? Take cues from travel experts like Rick Steves and Anthony Bourdain, both cited as top travel icon or role model by respondents.
Or James Bond, who came in a close third.
While the majority of tourists (87%) said they avail themselves of their mobile devices to navigate their way around a new city, a quarter of respondents said they also use the old-fashioned fold-out map.
The most popular websites and apps for travellers? About two-thirds (66%) of tourists said they’ve used Google Maps while on holiday.
User-generated restaurant review guide Yelp was the second most popular app (31%), followed by Facebook, Google Translate and photo sharing app Instagram.
Tourists polled in the survey also named Orlando, Las Vegas and Honolulu as the most welcoming destinations in the US, giving the sun-soaked cities top marks for their warmth and friendliness.
The Big Apple landed at the bottom of the heap, with a failing grade of 62% — a figure that’s at major odds with the city’s self-perception, as 87% of New Yorkers said they feel they offer their guests a warm welcome.
Meanwhile, if you want to avoid betraying your status as a tourist, best keep your camera tucked away in a bag, and purge your wardrobe of socks and sandals and fanny packs — named the ugliest tourist accessories.
The report was based on the results of two separate surveys conducted among 1,002 US tourists who have travelled or were planning to travel out of state in the next year, and 1,054 locals in top US destinations who've lived in their cities for a minimum of five years. — AFP/Relaxnews 2014