Breathtaking TikTok videos and glamorous Instagram reels and photos can set high expectations for tourist destinations. But what if visitors’ expectations are not met?
When visiting a place that does not meet the expectations, some people might feel real physical and mental pain, including nausea and increased heart rate. This intense disappointment is known as Paris syndrome, since many people visiting the City of Lights experience this condition.
Paris syndrome happens when people visit for a vacation. As Mathieu Deflem, a professor of sociology at the University of South Carolina, told Live Science, it originally referred primarily to travelers from Japan.
Franco-Japanese psychiatrist Hiroaki Ota first used the term ‘Paris Syndrome’ to describe this transient psychological disorder in 1986. Later work by Youcef Mahmoudia of the Hôtel-Dieu de Paris hospital found that it was in fact ‘a manifestation of psychopathology related to the voyage, rather than a syndrome of the traveler.’
Radical Storage, a company that helps people find a place to store their luggage, carried out a research to find out which cities are most guilty of not meeting tourists’ expectations.
Last year, Paris was on top of the list. But the 2022 results are different.
This year, Radical Storage has analyzed over 826,000 TripAdvisor reviews, across 100 of the most visited cities in the world.
1. The most disappointing tourist destinations
This year, Orlando, America’s theme park capital, had the highest percentage of reviews where tourists complained that the city did not meet their expectations. In particular, visitors complained about busy crowds, rude people, and increased prices at Disney World and Universal. Orlando was also described as a ‘rip-off’ destination in most reviews, with 6.3% of reviews mentioning this word.
Jakarta, Indonesia, was in second place, followed by Pattaya, Thailand.
The most underwhelming city was Prague, with 3.9% of all reviews mentioning this word to describe the Czech capital.
Da Nang in Vietnam was the most overrated destination, followed by Paris. The French Capital had also the second-highest percentage of mentions of ‘scams’ in the world.
2. Destinations that exceeded tourists’ expectations
The study also found out what cities exceeded visitors expectations. The top three destinations were all European cities.
Budapest is the city where travelers are most pleasantly surprised by their experience, with 96% of reviews including positive comments.
The Hungarian capital was followed by Brussels and Zurich, which both had almost exactly 96% positive reviews. Finally, Rome has the most ‘must-see’ attractions according to tourists’ reviews.