The LAT’s Gregory Rodriguez suggests that multiculturalism at home, a weak dollar and the rise of other countries have made Americans more pleasant foreign travelers:
The ugly American — the stereotypically brutish, ethnocentric, bumbling traveler abroad — is dead. He’s gone the way of global U.S. hegemony, the strong dollar and mid-20th century American naivete.
Thirty years ago, the streets of major European capitals were awash with wide-eyed, culturally entitled, middle-class American tourists who were members of the first generation to take advantage of foreign travel. Once the exclusive province of the elite, the Grand Tour (albeit scaled down) suddenly became available to the average suburbanite, supported by modern transportation technology, a strong U.S. currency and America’s unparalleled international status.
Far from projecting an image of narrow-minded superiority, Americans abroad today are more reflective of the country’s expanding diversity and cultural sophistication. They come from a broader array of backgrounds and traditions. Many still have strong ties to homelands around the globe.
One recent survey of hoteliers even found that of all Western travelers, Americans were most likely to speak the local language, something I really, really find difficult to believe.
Oh, and then there’s the “foreigners like us because of Obama” stuff. And the “we’re becoming like them and them like us” stuff.
Read the rest on your own.