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Bathers Oblivious to Beach and Pool Etiquette, Reveals TripAdvisor Survey

From Chair Hogs to Shower-Skippers, Waterside Wrongdoers Get Americans Hot Under the Collar

NEWTON, Mass., June 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- TripAdvisor®, the world's largest travel site*, today announced the results of its annual beach and pool etiquette survey of more than 1,100 U.S. travelers, revealing that when many Americans lose their layers waterside, unfortunately their manners are also stripped bare. Seventy-four percent of respondents think that people often violate some form of beach or pool etiquette, while one in four (26 percent) have asked a stranger to stop behaving rudely at the beach or pool. Silence is golden to travelers, as blasting loud music was noted as the most annoying violation of beach and pool etiquette.

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The Swim Cap of Shame: Worst Waterside Wrongdoers  

  • Americans were called out as the world's worst beach and pool etiquette offenders, with New Yorkers named the country's most poorly behaved, followed by beachgoers from New Jersey and Florida.
  • Miami Beach, Florida, was identified by respondents as the U.S. beach with the worst behaved beachgoers.
  • Young adults are deemed the most egregious waterside etiquette offenders (39 percent), followed by teenagers (34 percent) – while middle-aged adults (12 percent) outweigh young children (10 percent).


Bad Beachside Behavior: Most Annoying Beach Etiquette Violations

  1. Blasting loud music - 27 percent
  2. Public intoxication - 12 percent
  3. Littering - 12 percent


Poor Poolside Protocol: Most Annoying Pool Etiquette Violations

  1. Blasting loud music - 21 percent
  2. Beach chair hogging - 18 percent
  3. Smoking - 13 percent


Trying Travelers: Chair Hogs, Shower-Skippers and Boozy Bathers

  • 85 percent consider it unacceptable to reserve chairs by getting up early and leaving one's possessions on them – while 11 percent confess to doing so.
  • While 34 percent deem it an etiquette breach for swimmers to skip the shower prior to taking a dip in the pool, 38 percent confess that they do so rarely, while 14 percent never do.
  • About a third of travelers think alcohol and the water don't mix. Thirty-three percent consider it inappropriate for travelers to enter the pool when under the influence of alcohol, 30 percent think the hot tub should be off limits, and 29 say the ocean should be out of bounds when drinking alcohol.


Restricted Access: "Keep Out" for Kids and Canines

  • The top "restricted access" zones that travelers would like to see on beaches:
  • Pet-free areas - 72 percent
  • Child-free areas - 60 percent
  • Alcohol-free areas - 34 percent


  • The top "restricted access" zones that travelers would like to see at pools:
  • Child-free areas - 72 percent
  • Pet-free areas - 66 percent
  • Mobile-free areas - 32 percent


Plea for Personal Space: A Third Say Beachgoers are Too Close for Comfort

  • 31 percent feel that their "personal space" on the sand is always or often invaded by fellow beach-goers.
  • At a crowded beach, 28 percent consider six feet to be the closest acceptable distance to sit next to another stranger, while a further 28 percent are comfortable with three feet, and 17 percent set a boundary of four feet.
  • At an un-crowded beach, 30 percent consider 20 feet to be the closest acceptable distance to sit next to another stranger, while 26 percent say seven to ten feet will suffice, and 17 percent say 11 to 14 feet.


A Burning Need: Strangers and Suntan Lotion

  • 79 percent consider it unacceptable for a stranger to request assistance with applying suntan lotion, while 13 percent have been called upon to do so.  
  • However, speaking up about someone getting a sunburn is not off limits: 57 percent consider it responsible to alert the lobster-in-waiting of their colorful fate.  


Beach Fashion Faux-Pas

  • 34 percent consider it an etiquette violation for men to wear speedos.
  • 25 percent think that skimpy bikinis are a no-no for women.
  • 78 percent think it's okay for women to go topless at the beach or pool, in destinations where it's culturally acceptable – while a further six percent think it's acceptable, regardless of the destination.


"Regardless of how beautiful the sand and blue the skies, even the most jaw-dropping beach and pool settings can be ruined by inconsiderate behavior," said Karen Drake, senior director of communications for TripAdvisor. "With vacation time precious to us all, a little thoughtfulness can go a long way in maintaining waterside harmony."

About TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor® is the world’s largest travel site, enabling travelers to plan and have the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from real travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features (including Flights search, TripAdvisor Mobile and Instant Personalization) with seamless links to booking tools.

TripAdvisor® Media Group, operated by TripAdvisor LLC, attracts more than 60 million unique monthly visitors* across 19 popular travel brands**. TripAdvisor-branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, with more than 45 million unique monthly visitors***, 20 million members, and over 50 million reviews and opinions. The sites operate in 30 countries worldwide****, including China under daodao.com. TripAdvisor also operates TripAdvisor for Business, a dedicated division that provides the tourism industry access to TripAdvisor’s millions of monthly visitors. The division includes Business Listings, which allows hoteliers to connect directly to millions of researching travelers, and Vacation Rentals, which helps property managers and individual home owners list their properties and showcase hotel alternatives.
TripAdvisor Media Group websites have been recognized as top travel resources in 2010 by Condé Nast Traveller, Good Housekeeping, TIME magazine and Travel + Leisure.
TripAdvisor Media Group generated $486 million in revenue in 2010.  TripAdvisor and the sites comprising the TripAdvisor Media Group are operating companies of Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE).
TripAdvisor and the TripAdvisor logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of TripAdvisor LLC in the U.S. and/or other countries.  All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
©2011 TripAdvisor LLC. All rights reserved.
*Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Media Group Sites, Worldwide, June 2011
***Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, Worldwide, June 2011