Ear to the ground

“She hardly has enough tubing.”

– Two Durango mothers watching as a college co-ed leaves Kroeger’s with supplies to build a beer bong

The tourist test

The Ugly American got good news recently. Tourists from the U.S. of A. actually got high marks in a survey that identified the world’s best and worst travelers.

The online travel company Expedia surveyed 4,500 hoteliers across the globe for the second annual survey. Tourists from various nationalities were ranked on politeness, generosity, behavior, tidiness, fashion sense, willingness to try and speak the local language, and tendency to complain.

“Hoteliers are experts when it comes to interacting with tourists,” said Arthur Hoffman, of Expedia Asia Pacific. “The annual global Expedia Best Tourist Survey presents some interesting and intriguing perceptions about tourists from around the world.”

Like last year, the Japanese won the top prize. They were ranked not only as the quietest and most polite, but also the cleanest and least likely to complain. The British again came in second place overall, followed by the Canadians.

The survey also revealed that the French continue to hold the dubious honor of “world’s worst tourists.” Hoteliers characterized the French as the most frugal, the leanest tippers as well as the most impolite travelers.

Americans landed in the middle of the pack, thanks largely to heavy tipping and efforts to learn local language and sample local delicacies. However, Yankee tourists were docked points in several categories. The survey found Americans to be most likely to complain about accommodations and among the least tidy hotel guests. U.S. travelers also hit rock bottom in terms of fashion sense and were categorized as the loudest tourists in the world.

The Tour de Trail

Le Tour is just around the corner in Durango. Durango’s trail system will be showcased on Sept. 20 when the first annual Tour of Durango takes off in conjunction with the Singlespeed World Championships.

With events for trail runners and mountain bikers, the Tour is an opportunity for locals and visitors alike to experience Durango’s trail network. The Durango Mountain Park, Dalla Mountain Park, Telegraph Trail system and Raider Ridge will all be included on the Tour, and proceeds benefit the local trail builders – Trails 2000 and Southwest Conservation Corps.

This inaugural Tour begins on the bike path, highlighting the interconnectivity of our local trail network, and finishes at a block party complete with music and beer.

Le Tour is limited to 600 participants, and is expected to fill quickly. Visit www.TourofDurango.com to register.