LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Britons think France is the least hospitable country in which to go on holiday, according to a new online survey of 1,412 Britons.
Respondents ranked 10 countries including Mexico, France and the United States according to perceptions of hospitality.
More than 24,000 people were questioned worldwide. Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia were not included in the choice of holiday destinations.
Thailand was the most popular destination with the British, scooping 25 percent of the vote. The United States wooed 11 percent of British respondents, but France came last, scoring a miserable two percent.
The survey was conducted throughout October by holiday website www.Zoover.co.uk to identify which of the selected countries treated tourists in "the most hospitable way."
Zoover marketing executive Chrit Blonden said he could not explain why people voted like they did, but offered his own explanation for France's low score.
"When you go to France they are not inviting you there, you are not feeling invited when you go to their country," Blonden told Reuters by telephone. "I was in Thailand myself. When you go there you are treated very well...they show a real interest in you."
French Tourism Development Agency head of public relations in London Jacqueline Mirtelli said the Zoover survey appeared to have overlooked statistical evidence which shows that 78 million tourists from around the world visited France last year, 11 million of them British.
"11 million British have visited France in 2008 and over 350,000 own a house in the country," she told Reuters in an emailed statement. "Something must be appealing."
Editing by Paul Casciato