courteous cities to visit

most courteous citiesSo. I found two surveys (I believe both are now slightly dated … maybe 2006 or 2007) that will help me plan my next vacation. The first was conducted by Readers Digest helping us find the city with the most polite people. The second survey from Foreign Policy magazine helps us locate the countries with the most polite terrorists. Okay. Countries where you are most likely to have the pleasure to meet a terrorist (polite or not). I was pleased to see no cross over on the two surveys so that I wouldn’t be faced with too large a dilemma when choosing  vacation spot.

I am not sure I believe that New York is the most polite city in world. But. In the 90’s good ole Rudy did put the screws down on people with some hefty fines to insure they were polite.

So. How do you find out whether a city is polite or not?

They sent out undercover reporters (half of them men, half women) and conducted three tests:

–          walked into public buildings 20 times behind people to see if they would hold the door open for us.

–          bought small items from 20 stores and recorded whether the sales assistants said thank you.

–          dropped a folder full of papers in 20 busy locations to see if anyone would help pick them up.

They awarded one point for each positive outcome and nothing for a negative one, giving each city a maximum score of 60.

They called it “the world’s biggest real-life test of common courtesy.”

Hey. I am not sure I buy it but it surely is as good as anything I have seen and better than half the focus group research studies I have seen companies’ base million dollar new product introductions on.

Ah. Let’s see. Beyond politeness let’s seek terrorism for vacation criteria.

We have the Terrorism Index (which isn’t really an index but I am not going to quibble because I believe Foreign Policy magazine “lost” 50% of the interviewers in the survey process) courtesy from Foreign Policy magazine. While not really known as the Travel & Leisure of the foreign policy industry they have gone out of their way to insure we know the terrorist hot spots.terrorist index

While I am slightly unclear how you attain an accurate “% respondents selected” I do imagine they have provided us some very insightful information for vacation planning.

So. The one thing I guess I am clear on. Should you run into a terrorist in say maybe Toronto (extremely high on the list of courteous cities) he/she/it will probably be alone (because less than 1% of the entire population apparently claims they are terrorists) in addition they will also probably be very polite or courteous (therefore you probably won’t know they are a terrorist). Hmmmmmmmmm … I will be eyeing people closely the next time I am in Toronto and if they are TOO courteous …. well … I may go the other way.

On one last serious note. Even if you take the terrorist index as ‘directional truth’ I was surprised to see Saudi Arabia (and ally of United States I may add) as that high. Maybe in the back of my head I knew something along these lines from something I read but I would never have foreseen a number so high for that country. But. Foreign policy is not my bailiwick (I am still seeking my bailiwick in case you are interested).

Just passing along information. Stay tuned for my next vacation guidance which is going to be about Kiev. They are courteous (although apparently not courteous enough to make the list) and they don’t have terrorists (or so I have encountered).

Written by Bruce