British travellers ignorant of holiday tipping etiquitte
Tuesday 30, March 2010
A study of over 2,400 European travellers by TripAdvisor®, the world’s most popular and largest travel community, reveals that despite being among the most generous tippers in Europe, Brits still view themselves as the meanest tippers on holiday.
Holiday tipping can clearly be a stressful situation – 15% of Brits have actually been confronted by staff on holiday for not leaving a tip. An unfortunate 6% have had their holiday ruined because of a tipping situation and over a quarter (27%) of Brits believe tipping should be abolished altogether, reveals the pan-European TripAdvisor research.
“Tipping can be socially awkward and can cause endless embarrassment, especially on holiday when we are unfamiliar with local customs,” cautions Emyr Thomas, Director of concierge and lifestyle management company Bon Vivant, “In some countries it is considered rude not to tip, so you might need to justify yourself, just as in others, such as Japan, it is often considered rude to tip at all.”
Embarrassing Lack of Research
Three quarters (74%) of Brits admit to not always researching tipping etiquette before holidaying in another country, and almost half (46%) of British travellers approach holiday tipping with a “one size fits all” attitude, tipping the same regardless of which country they visit.
“I would always recommend reading up about the customs of a particular country before travelling there,” continues Thomas, “However, if you are stuck, adding a tip of 10% is the course of action least likely to cause offence and embarrassment, especially in Europe, where customs do not vary too much.”
The USA’s hard-line tipping culture is well-known, indeed, two thirds (37%) of Brits admit their tipping culture puts them off holidaying in the States. Despite these concerns, there is universal acknowledgement across Europe that American tourists are the most generous tippers.
On the other side of the coin, when it comes to the meanest tippers on holiday, Brits vote for themselves. Europeans generally are tough on their fellow countrymen - French and Spanish respondents also rate their own nationality as the least generous tippers. Italians, however, cite the Irish as the worst holiday tippers.
The TripAdvisor European Tipping study also reveals that:
“This research shows that British travellers, despite a lack of planning by many, are a generous bunch when it comes to holiday tipping. Brits typically hate to cause a scene so always investigate local customs before you leave to avoid any embarrassing tipping situations,” said Emma O’Boyle, TripAdvisor spokesperson.
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