Nearly one in five Google reviews of Paris is negative, says a brand who has tracked the sentiments of 140,000 city reviews left on the search engine.
Luggage storage network Radical Storage analysed Google reviews left about top sightseeing spots, attractions, activities, parks, restaurants and hotels in 20 of the world’s most popular city break spots, determining which were positive and which were negative.
Paris was found to be the biggest let-down for online reviewers - out of 3,243 reviews of the “City Of Light”, nearly one in five (18 per cent) were found to be negative, with 25 per cent of the negative reviews describing the French capital as “horrendous”.
Another city deemed overrated by a substantial chunk of visitors was Hong Kong; one in six (15.9 per cent) reviews were negative.
Some 21.6 per cent of the negative reviews of Hong Kong described the city as ‘rude’, with 23.9 per cent mentioning being disappointed.
Researchers reflected that this was the phenomenon known as “Paris Syndrome” in action, saying: “This very real psychological condition is sometimes experienced by first-time visitors to Paris whose expectations of the city are so romanticised they get overwhelmingly disappointed when they are faced with the reality.
“The quaint and fairytale-like image of Paris portrayed in movies and books doesn’t always match the reality of this busy city, and the realisation can sometimes leave tourists in a state of utter shock. Symptoms vary, but hallucinations, anxiety, dizziness, acute delusions and sweating are among the most commonly reported.”
The third, fourth and fifth most disappointing cities were found to be Seoul, Bangkok and Singapore.
On the other hand, the top five “pleasantly surprising” cities, where the reviews were largely positive, were Stockholm, Cape Town, Dubai, Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur.
The study also analysed common phrases used in the city reviews, with London, LA and New York getting the most mentions of being “above and beyond” expectations.
However, Sydney, London and New York had the highest incidents of the words “rip off” being used.
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