How Americans Deal With Naughty Tourists and Selfie-Stick Users

·Food & Travel Intern

Would you use a selfie stick at an attraction where it was banned? (Photo: elPadawan/Flickr)

According to a recent survey, Americans most likely wouldn’t stop someone from using a selfie stick, despite a ban like the one at Disney World. They would, however confront armrest hogs on a flight and report misbehaving tourists to security.

The data comes from a newly released study by Travel Leaders Group, a travel agency, that asked 3,000 Americans what they would do if they were held in 10 different tourist-related situations. The circumstances were based on real-life controversies such as selfie stick restrictions and offending locals. (The latter refers to the incident where backpackers were arrested after offending Malaysian locals by stripping down on a sacred mountain earlier this year.)

Related: Take a Mental Picture - 6 Places Where Selfies are Banned

The survey asked questions like, “If you knew it was prohibited and you saw another tourist taking photos with a selfie stick, what would you do?” and “If you are seated in the middle seat on an airplane and the people on either side of you staked out the armrests, what would you do?” In those conditions, the questionnaire found that 9 percent and 37 percent would stand up to the offenders, respectively.

“We encourage travelers take action, particularly in situations where tourists are demonstrating poor behavior by damaging major artifacts or skirting rules and regulations,” said Travel Leaders Group CEO Barry Liben. “Travelers should know they can always go to official personnel – be it security guards or flight attendants – if they don’t want to confront someone directly.”

Related: That’s MY Armrest!  The Jerk’s Guide to Flying

For confrontational situations, like sitting behind someone who reclined the seat too far or catching a tourist defacing an attraction, results showed that travelers would ask someone in charge – like a flight attendant or security guard – to handle the situation.

Other things we learned about traveling Americans from the data: that they believe in each passenger’s right to recline his or her airplane seat (53 percent) and a majority of them don’t own selfie sticks (79 percent).

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