IN his continuing search for the more weird, wacky and wondrous in the world of travel, David Ellis says Britain's tourism bosses are being accused of coming-up with advice akin to that from Basil of Fawlty Towers fame, after they put a series of new "Do's" and "Don'ts" for the travel industry on their VisitBritain website.
Amongst their advice is that Indians tend to change their minds quite frequently, Canadians are offended if called Americans, Russians shouldn't be given rooms with low ceilings because "they are a tall nation," people from Hong Kong shouldn't be given four-poster beds as they associate them with ghosts, and that Germans and Austrians can be demanding to the point of seeming rude and aggressive.
And Australians? According to the new VisitBritain website local tourism operators and hoteliers should expect Australians to be very direct and to the point, and sometimes "hard to read." And because of the distance we've travelled to get to Britain, we "may not have slept for 30 hours, and could show signs of intolerance."
Critics say the advice is stereotyped and could be considered offensive to some tourists, but VisitBritain says it's based on "wide market intelligence and allows for an invaluable insight into key markets globally."