The Czech Republic isn’t exactly known for its customer service. Which is why a new ranking from Dutch start-up Booking.com may come as a bit of surprise to anyone who’s been given the evil eye from an icy receptionist or grouchy waiter.
The popular travel booking platform released their annual Guest Review Awards yesterday, which honors some 700,000 top-rated accommodation facilities in 219 countries across the world – and the Czech Republic has come in with a surprisingly big share of highly-rated locations.
To qualify for a Guest Review Award, a hotel or apartment must review an average review of 8.0 stars or higher on Booking.com’s platform with a minimum of five reviews.
Italy tops the list among the raw number of top-rated facilities with more than 100,000 top-rated accommodation providers; Spain, France, Germany, Russia, the US, and the UK also rate high on the list of a total number of top-rated properties.
Of course, those are also popular destinations with a high number of total listings on Booking.com’s platform. When comparing the top-reviewed facilities against a country’s total number of listings, the top 10 looks quite different.
Czech neighbor Austria ranks first on the list that Booking.com deems the “most welcoming places on Earth”, with the highest average share of top-rated accommodation locations across 219 countries throughout the world.
But other top-rated countries might come as a surprise for those who feel that customer service is a lingering issue in the Czech Republic and other former Soviet Bloc countries.
The Czech Republic slides in at #2 among Booking.com’s top-rated properties, with an average review score among hotels and apartments only beaten by neighboring Austria.
It’s a trend that continues throughout the list: Poland comes in as the #3 most welcoming country, while Romania and Hungary also feature among the top 10. Czech neighbor Germany, despite a high number of total top-rated properties, did not feature in the list of most welcoming countries.
These are Booking.com’s “most welcoming countries on Earth” as determined by their 2018 Guest Review Awards:
2. Czech Republic
4. New Zealand
While this is the seventh year that Booking.com has honored locations with Guest Review Awards, it’s the first that the platform has released a list of the most welcoming countries – and the Czech Republic has a lot to be proud about.
According to a press release, travelers using the site indicated that they really do take into consideration how welcoming a place is: 73% said that friendly and interesting locals are one of the top criteria when selecting a destination for their next trip.