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Old 10th August 2019, 18:54   #46
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Default Re: Are Indian tourists terrible? Or simply misunderstood?

I see two classification to the reasons Indian Tourists get into the negative spotlight -
Moral aspect and Socio-Cultural aspect.

I see Moral aspect as things like what happened to the Bali family. Yes, I think tourists of other nationalities also commit hotel/airlines theft crimes. But that should not be a justification for us doing the same. Wrong is wrong. It is my pet peeve to hear people all around justify something wrong, (be it bad driving, signal breaking, public waste, or even violence) by saying so what that person did it too, or they did it first. Wrong is wrong. This is where one's Morals/Ethics comes into play. You have to decide what is the morally right thing to do and decide if you want to continue to do it, since others around are doing it too.

The second aspect regarding Socio-Cultural difference is more nuanced. As Indian we definitely have a right to be proud of our culture, attire, social bonds. But we also need to be aware of the host nation's socio-cultural norms. Ignorance is no longer a valid excuse as it literally take a few secs to google the norms and Do's and Don'ts of a host nation. No one is forcing anyone to wear a western attire, or eat only the local cuisine. but as a tourist one needs to be aware of the sensibilities expected from the host nation. Just as we sometimes criticize Foreign tourists for their attire/behavior when they are in our country, we should be aware that sometimes, if we are not aware of the host nation's cultural norms, we would be criticized. We cannot always impose our cultural expectations when we are travelling our of India and expect the host nation to be always fine with it. They too have their expectations from people who visit them. So there should be that give and take flexibility that we need to keep in mind when we travel out of India.

And yes, I am talking of Indian Tourists only as I want us as Indians to get a better name abroad. It hurts to hear such news as what happened in Bali. I look forward to a day when we as Indians realize that each of us are an Ambassador when we travel abroad, and thus we should strive to make India's name shine proudly; I look forward to a day when sometime positive happens and other nations say, see, this situation turned out positively because he/she/they were Indian tourists!
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Old 10th August 2019, 22:12   #47
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Default Re: Are Indian tourists terrible? Or simply misunderstood?

It is no secret that many of our countrymen as tourists lack even the basic etiquette. I don't want to rant about it again, I have already exhausted my quota in the "Bhutan to tighten tourist inflow" thread. Yet you will find a lot of people defending the country and its people under the shroud of pseudo nationalism instead of making an attempt to understand and learn even from constructive criticism. The responses in bhutan thread is a good example of such arguments.

Coming back to this specific episode, if the guests were all senior citizens (who come from a different era) I would have probably understood their behavior, though I will never agree with it. But look at the number of young folks in that group. They should be seriously ashamed of themselves. Even if it was the handiwork of the older folks, they should have gently advised them against it. A twitter response to this episode worth reading is this.

The most shameful moment in the video is the display of the average Indian's disgusting mentality that money can be used to buy their way into every solution and away from every problem. The desi uncle offers to pay up and the hotel person responds "its not about money", yet the offers to pay extra money at which point the hotel guys respond "i know you have lot of money, this is no respect". Sad... Earlier in the video the hotel manager is head saying "this is about bali's image". I can only presume that the family initially would have got agitated and would have foul mouthed their country & its people only to put ours in shame later. Sick !

Originally Posted by Hayek View Post
1) On theft: I don’t think Indians are more prone to stealing stuff than folks from other countries. We are an increasing share of worldwide tourists and hence will form an increasing share of thieves
2) Noisy Families - I don’t think we are worse than the Chinese or English Yob gangs or Australian groups of guys either. While staying in Central Sydney in an AirBNB, one couldn’t sleep with gangs of folks making a noise at 1 am on the streets. And let’s remember that a noisy Indian family (or Chinese family) will always be noticed and labelled as Indian (or Chinese) while Noisy Whites will be considered as noisy individuals, not as part of a noisy group.
3) Kids - I frankly will plead guilty as part of the group that lets kids run around and make a noise. My then 2.5 year old son was shocked and traumatised when we went for our first trip to the UK in 2010 - and he saw kids of his age tied like dogs on leashes to their parents. I really think the idea that kids should be seen and not heard is bullshit and will always give a lot of latitude to families with children, whether on planes or anywhere else.
Sorry to single out this post, but I have to disagree with you on the first 3 points
  • On point 1 & 2, this is exactly our downfall. We never seem to try and understand issues and make an attempt to fix it when pointed out. Typically each country tourists has one or two annoying attitude. - Americans & Brits are loud, Chinese are cheap, Italians are pushy, the Germans feel entitled. But we seem to be all of it. Why do we have to look at the people who suck, why cant we behave like Canadians or Sweeds who generally have a better reputation.
  • Kids being quiet does mean they are tied like dogs on leashes. They are well behaved. Lets not make up the lack of imparting quality behavior to the kids by mentioning that the well behaved won are enslaved by their parents. Sorry, I do not buy this irrational comparison. Lets understand how important it is to be cordial towards others in a public area and teach the children well.

Last edited by SR-71 : 10th August 2019 at 22:41.
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Old 11th August 2019, 00:18   #48
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Default Re: Are Indian tourists terrible? Or simply misunderstood?

On a lighter note, Indians (especially males) are the easiest to handle on International flights. As soon as the flight takes off, give them 3 pegs + a packet of peanuts/chips and a bottle of soda, and they won't bother anyone for a couple of hours. After that give them one more peg and have a peaceful flight.
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Old 11th August 2019, 05:05   #49
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Thanks for starting this thread.

Some of the posts clearly explain the behaviour out there.

Some people have no freakin idea of public space etiquette.

This lack of understanding is amongst the key root causes. The second being the false sense of entitlement.

Many years back, a bunch of my colleagues were upgraded from economy to business class. They kept on calling the stewards and ordering stuff like there's no tomorrow. The chief steward came and said, "your seats have been upgraded but that doesn't mean you have to misuse the privileges that came with it like this "

And talking about the rights of kids in public spaces. I don't think people complain about a running child in a park. People just don't expect a grown-up child to be running and screaming inside an aircraft.

Even a simple thing like asking some of my visiting guests from India to belt up in a car is a drama.

It's immaterial how London was 100 years ago or how Japanese tourists were in the 80s. The question is about tourists in 2019 and the answer is obvious.
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Old 11th August 2019, 06:18   #50
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Default Re: Are Indian tourists terrible? Or simply misunderstood?

This is a thread that deserves wide publicity.

Note though that this behaviour is just another symptom of the root cause - an extremely low civic sense in Indians allied to misogyny. I still have trouble correcting my 90 plus mother about throwing things out of her apartment bedroom window, no matter how small - as she claims - the item is. Particularly when there is a dustbin within a metre. She just doesn't get it, and this is from before some dementia set it. Fortunately my granddaughter quotes this to us as an example of bad behaviour, so this isn't something that will be passed on.

Another symptom, relevant to this site, is the extremely poor, even dangerous, Indian driving behaviour that is rampant all over India. Even cars bearing TBHP stickers are often guilty of this. The misogyny surfaces in treatment of women drivers on the roads.

I have no idea how this is going to change, or how long it will take. I don't think it can happen till civic sense of how to live amidst society is inculcated from a young age, by example.

I agree that much of the developed world was no different about a hundred and fifty years ago, but I am not sure that I see us on a similar track towards change.
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Old 11th August 2019, 07:11   #51
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Default Re: Are Indian tourists terrible? Or simply misunderstood?

Simply put, us Indians dont have patience, we think the world revolves around us. We go to a restaurant we want to be served first. So we holler at the waiter, and want him to take our order immediatley and get our food first before everyone elses. We can apply this impatience at every other instance traveling abroad.

Second we are not courteous enough, which stems from us thinking we are entitled. All these people who travel abroad are middle class and above, so they are used to yelling at people who earn less money than they do in India and think they can get away with same abroad. So we dont say thank you, please, excuse me, or be nice. And in general act bossy.

The anwser is simple, be courteous, be patient.

Talking with a lot of people from outside India, they think we are the second worst travellers in the world. I think the reason for that is that India tourist numbers are still low compared to our neighbour up north.

Last edited by kilireddy0 : 11th August 2019 at 07:13.
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Old 11th August 2019, 08:22   #52
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Default Re: Are Indian tourists terrible? Or simply misunderstood?

Why are we picking on just Indian tourists?

It's not as if we behave very well in every other sphere.

Driving, eating, queues, public travel utilities, littering - you name it - you can find the "terrible" Indian behaviour everywhere.

The major part of this boorish behaviour comes from the newly rich category who develop a "superiority complex based on an inferiority complex" and feel that since they are now rich they have to assert themselves more.

This feeling overrides courtesy, concern for others, manners and basically is an indication of the lack of breeding or quality of gene pool within the family.

Changing the basic genetic DNA of a family gene pool that gives rise to this behaviour isn't easy.

I don't think it's going to happen in a long time.

Don't blame only the tourists. Blame the basic Indian gene DNA. The "terrible Indian behaviour" mentioned in the OP exists everywhere.

I think the heading should be changed


"Are Indian tourists terrible?"


"Are Indians terrible?".
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Old 11th August 2019, 08:52   #53
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Default Re: Are Indian tourists terrible? Or simply misunderstood?

Originally Posted by SR-71 View Post
Kids being quiet does mean they are tied like dogs on leashes. They are well behaved. Lets not make up ...[/list]
off topic, but he does have a point here. Kids on leash is quite a frequent sight in UK (you have a dog like leash, tied around your child's body with straps, with one end in parent's hand to control the child from running away).
Was one of the cultural shocks for me as well 😊
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Old 11th August 2019, 08:52   #54
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Default Re: Are Indian tourists terrible? Or simply misunderstood?

Just deal with/interact with Indians overseas (who live outside our shores), and you will see how wrong you are. You'll think they bathed in Thames river, daily. The most impeccably behaved and gentle souls are Indians. Back home, it's just the atmosphere where you tend to get away with anything, to be blamed. Strict laws lead to compliance. I have seen Indians who queue up to catch their flight abroad, suddenly go haywire once the flight lands in India, breaking queues. Spitting and urinating in public, and enjoying the 'freedom'. So it's not DNA, it's conditioning.

Originally Posted by AMG Power View Post
"Are Indians terrible?".
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Old 11th August 2019, 09:14   #55
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Originally Posted by Sebring View Post
So it's not DNA, it's conditioning.
I agree; except that I will add good education by example, as a positive way of saying the same thing. Our civic sense should not disappear where there is no cop at the traffic lights, in a manner of speaking. But how to get there is the question.

On a lighter note - the rowdy Indian flyer is easily put down by the German Lufthansa stewardesses. I have seen one wag a finger in the face of one demanding yet another drink, and saying: " No more drinks for you". And our hero's bluster immediately deflated and he subsided in his seat, and behaved himself realising her eye was on him for the rest of the flight.
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Old 11th August 2019, 13:06   #56
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Default Re: Are Indian tourists terrible? Or simply misunderstood?

While tourists from around the world have been at various times labeled "worst!", sticking to the point of this thread on Indian tourists, I do find quite a few of us as terrible indeed.

Few examples from my personal experience:

1) Not quite tourists per say, but I'm aware of quite a few Indians in the US that rent a car during snow days to practice their stupid stunts of accelerating hard and pulling the handbrake!

Apparently, it's only the rental vehicles on which they can try these stunts!

2) Group of us were travelling in the mid-west, US for a long weekend vacation. One of them tries out the stunt of driving hard and pulsing the brakes to keep some tune with the background music that was running. Rental car, of course.

3) A "friend" was on a short term visit to the US. I agreed to take him some places in my free time. We were at the lakeshore drive area in Chicago. Went to the lake Michigan. While taking some fairly random photos, the said "friend" wanted to be framed with only specific subjects in the background (related with swimming costumes etc).

After I dropped him off later in the day, that was the last he heard from me.

4) One guy visiting us left the shower curtain open when he went for bath and flooded our bathroom! Did not have the courtesy to apologies or clean up.

5) A friend and I were visiting a restaurant that had this note on the tables to maintain silence or no-talking...something along the lines. I was a bit surprised to see that and was just remarking to the friend on this observation, in what I presumed was a low volume, when another guest there looked at us drawing our attention to the sign!

Many such anecdotes where one can see the Indian tourists being on the side of terrible.

In my analysis, this is a consequence of being too self-absorbed. Just a little objective reflection will possibly go a long way in refining the interactions with the world around us.
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Old 11th August 2019, 14:59   #57
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Default Re: Are Indian tourists terrible? Or simply misunderstood?

Honestly speaking, I feel there are bad apples everywhere. I have seen bad examples of other tourists as well (even people from developed countries like USA, England, Germany etc.). So a "bad tourist" tag could be applicable to anyone, not only Indians.

At the end of the day, it's your upbringing and how you have seen your parents behave matters a lot. (Believe me, kids pick up a lot more than we think, from their parents). The Bali incident was unfortunate enough to give a bad name to Indians, but I feel there are equally bad tourists from other countries as well.
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Old 11th August 2019, 18:03   #58
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Lots of tourists from lots of countries are boorish, insensitive and terrible in a social sense.

With ref to our brethren.
Harsh Goenka's article in ET on Friday says it quite well - it was about a sign in a hotel in Gstaad.
Then of course the Bali incident.

But it is not fair to say all Indian Tourists/ Travellers are horrible.

It is true however that a large number of our brethren do not know much about etiquette and other soft skills.

They are probably brilliant at their work or chosen occupation but in general their social and soft skills are pretty bad.

I think it is important to be tolerant overall and helpful to those who dont know, but yet politely point out stuff upon observing any poor behaviour/ etiquette.

But the trouble is that nowadays people can be both over sensitive and/ or argumentative/ militant/ loud/ angry/ aggressive if one points out anything.

Hence, as a regular traveller, I find, for my own peace of mind and general enjoyment, it is just easier to move away and avoid conflict.
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Old 11th August 2019, 23:14   #59
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Wow. Good spread of discussion.
Personally I feel it's a behavioral as well as cultural issue.
Our culture is a bit different from the western world so the sari wearing aunty opening a bottle of pickle to eat with parathas comes across as starkingly different. I feel this is ok.

We have just begun traveling abroad and normally this would mean we would want to stay within our comfort zones ie attire and familiar food. Probably couple of decades down the line we will see more Indians venturing out and trying local cuisines instead of searching for Indian food or being more flexible in what they wear.

What I can't stand is the behavioral issues and the tendency to wipe it off under the blanket by having the attitude- we are like this only and won't change.

It has a bigger underlying cause I feel and we can see it everywhere around us. From the guy that honks unnecessarily at traffic signals or the guy blocking the whole traffic because he wants to turn right from the left most lane to the guy that thinks it is ok to dispose off his garbage from bridge on the river. We can see many such examples and they are every day around us.
We have a sense of entitlement in public areas and also seem to have a tendency to think that if we can get stuff done by hook or crook we should do it and that there is nothing wrong with it. We have problems in understanding ettiquete and we have problems in understanding Civic sense.

When we travel outside India, we take this with us. Most of us don't try to change this in order to present a good picture to the outsiders or being in line with local sensitivities.

For eg. we feel it is ok to talk loudly in public unvary of what other around us may feel-which may be ok in India, but could be perceived as rude elsewhere. Or for eg hold lifts in hotels for a long long time.

I don't know any other nationality (except perhaps Chinese) who needs so many reminders on flights to be seated till the seat belt sign is off. The reasoning we have perhaps is that what could go wrong in a plane that has already landed and is just taxying. What we don't understand is that things in public work because people are expected to act the way they should. Which is why in developed countries you won't find people jumping the red signal even if the crossing is empty, but in India people take it upto them to decide when to cross and when not to even if the signals tell you something else.

I don't intend to admonish our fellow countrymen, but just wanted to point out that there are a few behavioral issues that need to be taken care of before we can really see that average Indian tourist who is polished and in terms with the global tourist perhaps.

BTW couple of days back at Resorts world Sentosa, Singapore - People been to this place will know that there are two queues to get on to the Monorail. One queue to go towards beach side and another one to go towards Vivo city. And Singapore being Singapore this is well marked as well. In the evening on our way back, the queue towards beach was long (we were on the queue towards Vivo city). Two ladies in the queue just behind us tried to jump the partition and enter the other queue from in between only to be sent back by the person Manning the queues. No points for guessing the nationality.

Last edited by vibbs : 11th August 2019 at 23:35.
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Old 12th August 2019, 00:07   #60
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I have seen cringeworthy behaviour from tourists of every nationality, therefore, it is wrong to blame the Indians alone. Theft of small items from hotels is again fairly common and others also do it. I have seen unruly behaviour, badly behaving kids, loud talk, people acting as if they own the place from all types of people - Whites, Blacks, Asians. etc. Such behaviour is wrong no matter who is involved, but sadly, we Indians stand out. Maybe it's a cultural thing because they think that their behaviour is acceptable and that they are not doing anything wrong.

Since a lot has already been said, I will add my two points quickly:

1. Lack of patience / civic sense: We Indians are an impatient lot. It's ironical that on one hand, most Indians do not value their own (or others) time but they act as if they are in a hurry all the time especially when they are on the road or in a public place. For example, people honk incessantly, they take short-cuts by breaking rules such as driving on the wrong side instead of taking a U-turn, not following lane discipline and blocking the oncoming traffic, ignoring the red signal etc. At toll booths, people forcefully jump the queue. When they are waiting for a lift or a train or a bus, they don't let people disembark and then they push and shove and try to get ahead. I have seen the same behaviour on domestic and international flights as well. They want to board first as if the plane will leave without taking them. The same pattern repeats again and again in every walk of life. So, naturally, when these people go abroad, they don't think that they are doing anything wrong.

2. Playing unfair / Gaming the system: I will tell you a story. I used to go to a restaurant in Melbourne, in the St. Kilda area. It was a vegetarian restaurant with some Indian options. It was run by a white person who had spent a few years in India learning Yoga (in an Ashram, I think in Rishikesh). He was very friendly and used to go by an Indian name given by his Guru. The restaurant had no fixed price menu. You paid what you felt like and the owner accepted the money without complaining. I had been to the place a few times and I found the food so good that I didn't mind paying a little extra. Most people did the same and I think it was a good business model (until the Indians found out ). On one weekend, I happened to meet a group of software developers through a friend. I told them about this place and on one Sunday afternoon, we all went there together. After having a grand lunch, it was the time to pay. I paid for myself. But the entire group paid just 10-15 dollars. Mind you, the same food would have cost more than $50 elsewhere. I could see the look on the face of the owner, but he didn't say anything. I added another ten dollars from my pocket because I felt sad. I never went back to the place, neither did I meet that group again, who by the way were all working for Satyam (I am just saying, not stereotyping ). I have seen a similar pattern of people buying from supermarkets - expensive items such as clothes, electronics etc. and then after using the stuff for some time, they used to return them and get a refund, taking advantage of the friendly return policies. I have seen people taking sachets of sugar, salt, pepper, ketchup from fast-food restaurants and cafes. Again, this happens because people think that their behaviour is acceptable.

Last edited by MandarMax : 12th August 2019 at 00:18.
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