Germans cringe at countrymen’s tacky vacation conduct

Almost half of all Germans are embarrassed by their boorish countrymen abroad, according to a new poll. But there might not be so much to worry about this summer, as the bad economy leads more Teutons to holiday at home.

Germans cringe at countrymen's tacky vacation conduct
Photo: DPA

Some 45 percent of those surveyed by Reader’s Digest Deutschland reported having been bothered at least once by their compatriots’ tacky behaviour in foreign lands, the magazine reported ahead of its June edition.

Meanwhile 69 percent of those questioned said they’d been horrified by the condescending tone some Germans take with locals.

Sixty-seven percent said they found public intoxication to be a problem with other Germans, and 64 percent said exaggerated complaints were also mortifying.

The level of embarrassment for the 1,002 poll participants rose in proportion to their level of education, the magazine reported. Only 12 percent of those with low-level educations were dismayed by inappropriate behaviour, while some 61 percent of those with a university education said they had been ashamed by gauche conduct.

These Germans may be spared a bit of discomfort this vacation season, though, because the financial crisis has prompted many to vacation within their own country, German petrol station and rest stop chain Serways said on Wednesday.

In a reader poll conducted for the chain by data-analyst Forsa, Germans said were most likely to visit the states of Bavaria, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Schleswig-Holstein if they vacation at home.

Germans’ least favourite in-country destination is cities, though Berlin was an exception. Young people between the ages of 18 and 29-years-old were most likely to head to vacation there, the poll found.

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