Wollongong tourism body scoffs at UK advice

British tourism operators have been told to laugh off "Pom" jokes from Australians and avoid smiling at the French in an etiquette list from a UK tourism body.

VisitBritain's advice aimed to educate hoteliers on cultural nuances but has drawn criticism for relying on tired stereotypes.

Tourism operators were cautioned that "humour is key when talking to Australians. Don't take offence to jokes about 'Poms' - it is more a friendly endearment than an intended insult."

Other do's and don'ts listed in the guide included avoiding saying "No" to the Japanese and not making fun of Indian accents.

Destination Wollongong's Tabitha Galvin said Wollongong's tourism body had no plans to tell hoteliers how to treat customers.

"We would rather work with operators in the region to deliver better service rather than tell them. Many of them are delivering a great service that is culturally sensitive," she said.

Ms Galvin said while the intentions were admirable, the level of detail was inappropriate.

Wollongong Backpacker's Kerrie Perger said the need to cater to cultural differences had minimised in 24 years of owning the hostel.

"The majority of our travellers are young. They're educated and they're all on the internet which makes them much more part of the global body than other travellers," she said.

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