Germans and Americans Are Tops in TripAdvisor Tipping Survey

Tipping at a hotel while on vacation
In addition to having finally attained economic mastery of Europe -- by some accounts, at least -- Germany is home to the world's best tippers, according to a survey by the travel website TripAdvisor (TRIP).

TripAdvisor asked 9,000 vacationers from eight countries answer questions about their tipping habits, with 69 percent of Germans saying they always add a gratuity while traveling, while 57 percent of Americans said the same.

The other nationalities surveyed were Russians (53%), Brazilians (40%), French (39%), British (39%), Spanish (36%), and Italians (23%).

When asked if they tip on vacation, the percentage of Americans who answered affirmatively increased to startling 99 percent, TripAdvisor said. And 21 percent reported feeling guilty if they don't tip.

The 57 percent figure of consistent tippers beat the 43 percent average of the other seven countries.

TripAdvisor attributes Americans' strong showing in the survey to the fact that "Tipping is a cultural norm in the State and U.S. travelers have a tendency to take their customs on the road whether they are on American soil or traveling abroad." If true, this means service workers around the world benefit from the U.S. system of asking diners to subsidize the wages of waitstaff, whose employers can currently pay them as little as $2.13 an hour before tips.

Americans traveling outside of this system seem confused by different practices in other countries: Only 16 percent said they always knew how much gratuity to leave on their bills. But what they may lack in knowledge, they make up in mental math ability: 85 percent said they calculate tips in their head. Just 18 percent say they sometimes turn to their smartphone. And 7 percent say they carry something called "a tip conversion sheet," which sounds incredible.

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