Britons should never do this one thing on holiday in Japan or China – or risk huge insult

Holidays in different cultures can be difficult in many ways – especially if Britons haven’t done their research on local etiquette. What might be perfectly acceptable in Britain might well be frowned upon by those in foreign lands such as Japan and China. Tipping is one such thorny area and can leave many holidaymakers in a pickle over what to do. In some countries, tipping is expected but in others, it is hugely frowned upon – and could seriously insult staff.

Research by tailor-made holiday company Travelbag revealed 90 per cent of respondents in a survey claimed that they do no research on local etiquette.

Asian counties have very different approaches to gratuities than the UK.

According to Travelbag research, two thirds of British travellers were oblivious to the fact that it can be considered rude to tip in Japan.

What’s more, nearly 80 per cent of respondents didn’t know it’s insulting to tip in China.

In China, tipping can be seen to imply the employee is not valued by their employer.

However, in Australia, the tipping etiquette is pretty similar to the UK – but many Britons don’t realise this.

Half of the respondents Travelbag spoke to didn’t know if it was insulting to give a gratuity down under.

Paul Hopkinson, Marketing Director at Travelbag told “Tipping etiquette is a common concern for travellers as customs can vary hugely by country.

“Only one in 10 people in our survey were confident about what to do about the food bill when on holiday, meaning there is plenty of potential for awkwardness.

“For example, Tokyo is likely to be popular in 2019 because of the Rugby World Cup, however, two thirds of people didn’t know that tipping in Japan isn’t necessary and can even be rude in some situations.

“Despite having similar customs to us, half weren’t sure about tipping in Australia either.

“Our message to travellers is that unforgettable experiences are often made by immersing yourself in local cultures.

“If you’re unsure, ask a local, take some time to read etiquette guides on the destination or discuss it with a travel expert before setting off.”

Dubai is another country where the culture is very different to the UK’s and if you are a man you should never move to shake the hand of an Emirati woman unless she offers to shake yours first.

The same also applies to women who try to shake the hand of a Muslim man in Dubai.

If you accidentally make this mistake it could be severely frowned upon by the locals.


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