Home NEWS Hey, Are You One of Those Ugly American Tourists?
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Hey, Are You One of Those Ugly American Tourists? PDF Print E-mail

CNN has joined the apology bandwagon that seems to have started with President Obama’s recent visit to Europe. He voiced regrets that American travelers have been disrespectful to people of other nations. We won’t even get into the argument as to whether or not the President bowed down low enough to the Arab king.

CNN had an article that continues the tired accusations that American travelers brutishly ignore the sensibilities and traditions of other countries. The writers dredged up the book and Marlon Brando movie from the 1950s titled, “The Ugly American”. The CNN writers were troubled by the return of the image of the loud, flashy, obnoxious U.S. tourist.

Uncle Sam image


First of all, travel4seniors.com always advises consideration and decent behavior in all situations while seniors visit anywhere, foreign and domestic. However, we seasoned citizens don’t need to be lectured to by the so-called travel experts. For instance, in the CNN article, a writer was ashamed to see that a group of American teenagers was horsing around recently like, well, typical teenagers outside a hotel in Vietnam.

Oh, my! That could have caused the Vietnamese to hate us even more than they always have, and refuse to take American dollars any more. And if those same American kids had fooled around in Beijing, would the Communist government there then have refused to continue to load down our retail stores with goods made by cheap Chinese kid labor?

Let’s get some perspective on this renewed teeth gnashing about “Ugly Americans”. Have the CNN writers read their history books about America’s role in giving billions of dollars and the blood of millions of young Americans to restore democracy and free economies? And the U.S. government, like no other nation, right or wrong, continues to give billions to help others around the world. 

Have the writers considered that today’s American tourists are a major boon to the economies of England, France, Egypt, Greece, Italy, Japan and, yes, Vietnam and China? Like human nature everywhere, some Americans will thoughtlessly ignore local religious and cultural customs. However, we doubt if there was an instance when foreign tourist traps ever refused to con ugly American visitors out of as many dollars as they can grab.

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