I'm proud to report that Americans are not the most despised tourists in the world...by hotel operators, at least! It's the French! Vive la France! (See the article from Time, via Yahoo, here). A snippet (emphasis mine):
"And it's not only the rest of the world that have a gripe with the Gallic attitude: the French also finished second to last among nations ranking the popularity of their own tourists who vacation at home...Will that move them to improve behavior the poll characterized as impolite, prone to loud carping and inattentive to local customs? If so, that's just the start: the study also describes the voyageur franÇais as often unwilling or unable to communicate in foreign languages, and particularly disinclined to spending money when they don't have to - including on those non compris tips. Over all, French travelers landed 19th out of 21 nations worldwide, far behind the first-place Japanese, considered most polite, quiet and tidy. Following the Japanese as most-liked tourists were the Germans, British and Canadians. Americans finished in 11th place alongside the Thais."
I am not anti-French, just anti American tourist bashing. American expats are particularly apt at complaining about how obnoxious American tourists are. Not because it's not true, necessarily--I've had my fair share of embarrasment for my countrypeople abroad--but because other countries have obnoxious travelers as well. I mean, have these people seen Germans? (And according to this article, they tip poorly).