Why do foreign tourists hate Russians on holidays?

A recent research published in the Netherlands revealed that many foreign tourists, particularly the Dutch, prefer to stay away from Russian holiday-makers in Turkey and Egypt.

The research was conducted by Esme Visser, a specialist of Eastern Europe. She personally questioned hundreds of tourists and used several hundreds of comments which she gathered at hotels and online forums. She was interested in most popular destinations with Russian tourists – Turkey, Egypt and Arab Emirates. For example, over 1.5 million Russian vacationers visited Turkey in 2006 alone.

The researcher said that she was shocked to hear so much criticism of Russians from Dutch tourists. About 40 percent of opinions included in the research touched upon Russian tourists, most of them contained complaints. There were positive comments, but they were in minority. To crown it all, there were hardly any complaints about tourists of other nationalities.

The phenomenon even led to the development of a new trend in tourism, known as “tours without Russians.”

“It does look like national discrimination. However, there is a certain demand on such tours in Europe . Such an offer can be formulated differently. A tourist agency may say that they have purchased all the rooms in a hotel especially for tourists from the Netherlands.

Many Russian and Dutch tourists prefer ‘all inclusive’ tours because they try to avoid surprises. They book such tours because they only seek comfortable, not adventurous holidays.

“I interviewed hotel managers and personnel and asked them to compare two groups of tourists – Russian and Dutch. The respondents complained of the Russians mostly. They said that Russian tourists were often aggressive and noisy and preferred to stay in their hotels all day and all night long. The Dutch, however, prefer to communicate with local population and visit local shops and cafes,” the researcher said.

Many Russians coming to Turkey or Egypt do not know English or speak it poorly. Many of them are simply unable to communicate with either other vacationers or hotel personnel. In addition, the Russian style of body language differs greatly from that of the West.

For example, Russians hardly ever smile. They smile when they hear or see something funny or when they communicate with their friends. However, they consider it weird to smile to strangers in the street. However, a smile is considered a token of friendliness with many foreigners.

The research also showed that Russian women irritate foreign holiday-makers too. “As a rule, Russian women are good-looking and feminine individuals. They go out wearing expensive outfits and exquisite makeup even in hotels. They do not hesitate to wear a skimpy bikini and walk around a pool exposing their slim bodies. Dutch wives find it especially irritating because their husbands give dirty looks to such women,” the researcher said.

On the other hand, the researcher believes that such irritation is easy to explain. A hotel often becomes a place of congregation of different cultures. People may find many things irritating and annoying about themselves. A couple of Dutch tourists will obviously be uncomfortable in a hotel packed with Russian vacationers.

Every country has its customs. If you think of Russian tourists as boozing noise-makers, just look around and you will probably see some Britons, Germans or Swedes barfing on the beach.

Radio Svoboda

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov