UK hoteliers warned: Indian tourists 'amiable but indecisive'

UK tourismVisitBritain, a government funded tourism body in the UK, has published a list of dos and don'ts for hoteliers (Reuters)

Indian tourists have been described as amiable but indecisive in the latest guidelines issued by a government-funded tourism body to hotels across Britain to avoid cultural faux pas.

"Understand that Indians are amiable but have a tendency to change their minds quite frequently," reads the advice from VisitBritain.

Hoteliers are warned not to poke fun at Indian accents or say "no" directly to a Japanese tourist.

Britain is a popular tourist destination among Asian countries, which accounted for 2,73,927 (54 per cent) of the 5,07,701 visitor visas issued in 2012. India and China each accounted for 15 per cent of that total.

VisitBritain, which receives around 30 million pounds of government funding each year to boost tourism and promote Britain around the world, is keen on keeping visitors from Asia happy.

Its list of dos and don'ts for the tourism industry is a guide to avoid offending foreign guests to ensure Britain's position as a welcoming destination.

The latest guide recalls a famous 1975 episode of the popular BBC comedy, 'Fawlty Towers', in which owner Basil Fawlty played by John Cleese makes repeated references to World War II.

Along those lines, VisitBritaindevised a comprehensive set of tips to cover different cultural sensitivities: DO: Ensure tourists from Russia - a "tall nation" - are housed in rooms with high ceilings and doorways.

DO: Anticipate the needs of a Japanese visitor even if they haven't told you what they are. DO: Deal promptly with any complaint from German or Austrian tourists, who can be "straightforward and demanding" to the point of "seeming rude and aggressive".

DON'T: Ask superstitious people from Hong Kong to sleep in a historic property or a four-poster bed because they associate them with ghostly encounters.

DON'T: Exchange a smile or make eye contact with anyone from France who you do not know.

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