independent

Friday 25 April 2014

London's not smiles better: survey

London cabbies were only considered the 12th friendliest in a survey of people visiting various international cities

The smiling face London presented for the Olympics appears to have been met with frowns by foreign tourists, according to a survey.

Of 40 cities worldwide, only Moscow was placed lower than London for the friendliness of the locals this year, the poll by the TripAdvisor company showed. London, which also led the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012, also fared far from well in other categories in the survey.

Of the 40 cities, the UK capital was 28th for safety, only 26th for cleanliness and near the bottom for best value for money (35th). In ease of getting around, London was 17th, and was in 15th place for public transport facilities.

Only for shopping, where London was fourth behind New York, Bangkok and Dubai, and for taxis, where London was fifth, did the city excel in the survey. Even though the taxi service came fifth, London cabbies were only considered the 12th friendliest.

The survey was carried out last month on 75,000 travellers who had written a 2012 hotel, restaurant or attraction review having visited any of the 40 cities.

Moscow fared the worst among the surveyed cities. As well as being last for friendliness of the locals, the Russian city was also considered the worst for cabbies, taxis and shopping.

Mumbai (formerly Bombay) had the dirtiest streets and was also considered to be the hardest of the cities to get around. Oslo offered the poorest value for money and Hanoi in Vietnam had the worst public transport.

Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic was considered the least safe city, followed by Rio de Janeiro (the next Olympic host city) and Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt.

Tokyo came top in five categories - taxis, cabbies, cleanliness, public transport and safety. Cancun in Mexico was considered to have the friendliest locals while Zurich in Switzerland was the easiest city to get around. Lisbon was best value for money while Budapest was the most underrated city.

TripAdvisor spokeswoman Emma Shaw said: "While London hasn't ranked particularly highly by those that have reviewed the city this year, it's important to remember that many of the respondents may have experienced London before major changes were made or post the events of the summer."

Press Association

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