Social Etiquette 101

Guidelines released to Help Britons Avoid Foreign Offence
With the 2012 Olympics creeping steadily up on the UK, tourism chiefs has released a list of cultural differences in the hope that Briton’s do not offend any of the foreign visitors arriving in time for the games. The guidelines have been drawn up to help workers in the service industry especially hoteliers, restaurants workers and taxi drivers who will be on the front line of service throughout the Olympics. A spokesman for the tourism board has stated that ‘overseas visitors spend more than £16 billion a year in Britain, contributing massively to our economy and supporting jobs across the country. So giving our foreign visitors a friendly welcome is absolutely vital to our economy. With hundreds of thousands of people thinking of coming to Britain in the run up to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012, this new advice is just one way of helping the tourism industry care for their customers – wherever they come from.”
The ‘rules’ range from basic social gestures to the appropriate levels of physical contact and include such things as;
*Never wink or point using your index finger at a visitor from Hong Kong, as it is considered highly rude in their culture
*Try not to mistake Canadian’s for Americans, as this can often gravely offend them. Many Canadian visitors will wear a maple leaf badge on their clothing to distinguish themselves from American visitors.
*Japanese visitors are at risk of being offended if they are stared at or if a person sneezes in their presence. It is also advised not to expose the soles of your shoes when sitting down.
It is hoped that the guide will allow Britain to come across as a welcoming, open country that goes the extra mile to understand the need of its foreign visitors. Hopefully the guidelines will also go a long way in promoting the country as a return holiday destination.

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