London Has World's Best Taxis for Fifth Year Running

Hotels.com 2012 Taxi Survey: Find out which taxis topped the list and what goes on inside them (CNW Group/Hotels.com)

London holds taxi top spot, as voted by global travellers

TORONTO, Oct. 18, 2012 /CNW/ - London cabs have been voted the best taxis in the world for the fifth year in a row, according to the annual global taxi survey from Hotels.com®. London claimed 11 per cent of the votes, followed by New York City with 6.4 per cent and Tokyo with 5.6 per cent.

The world's best taxis:

Rank   City % of votes  
1 London 11
2 New York 6.4
3 Tokyo 5.6
4 Shanghai   4.8
5 Bangkok 4.3

Travellers voted according to seven categories, of which London's iconic black cabs headed up five - friendliness, knowledge of the area, cleanliness, safety and quality of driving - while simultaneously being voted worst for value. New York beat London as the best city for availability with its famous yellow cabs, while Bangkok topped the list for best value.

Despite London and New York holding onto first and second place, taxis in Asia Pacific countries are rising in popularity, with Tokyo, Shanghai and Bangkok all qualifying for coveted spots in the top five. Canadian cities didn't fare as well though. Vancouver taxis were the most popular in the country, coming in at number 33 overall.

The Hotels.com taxi survey also revealed some of the unconventional activities that travellers from around the world get up to on their taxi journeys. Over half of all respondents (56 per cent) have fallen asleep in a taxi, while almost a fifth (19 per cent) said they use the journey to touch up their hair and makeup. An additional quarter (26 per cent) of those surveyed admit to having kissed in the backseat of a taxi in the past. The survey also revealed some of the strange items left behind in cabs including a single shoe and a raw fish!

Other findings:

  • 15 per cent of respondents claimed they don't tip their taxi driver, while 39 per cent only round up to the next whole dollar.
  • Safety was voted as the quality most valued in a taxi, followed by knowledge of the area and value.
  • The world's biggest spenders on taxis are Australians, while Italians splash out on this mode of transport the least.

Best according to category:

Category Best % of votes  
Cleanliness London 13
Knowledge of the area   London 14
Quality of driving London 16
Friendliness London 10
Safety London 12
Availability New York   11
Value Bangkok 10

Taxi tips for the top five destinations:

There is no global standard for taxi use, so to help make our lives easier, Hotels.com partnered with Dean Foster, president of Dean Foster Associates, a global consultancy specializing in cross-cultural information, training and research, to provide expert tips on how to use a taxi, and what to expect, in the cities with the world's best taxis.

London: The doors will lock and unlock every time the driver accelerates or brakes and you have a personal privacy switch so you can choose when you'd like to speak with the driver.

New York: Although you can normally hail a taxi at all hours, avoid "shift time", usually around 4-6 p.m., when taxis passing by are "off-duty". Also, if paying with a credit card, be sure to tell the driver upfront as sometimes the system is down forcing travellers to pay with cash.

Tokyo: Drivers here often don't go by house numbers, so your address probably won't mean much. Before leaving the hotel, have the concierge write down, in Japanese, the intersection and any landmarks which can be shared with the driver.

Shanghai: Since drivers here may not speak English well, before leaving the hotel have the concierge write down the destination address in Chinese. Present it to the driver with two hands, which shows respect and will please the driver - a good thing considering the local habit of using the long and more expensive route for passengers. Also, take a hotel address card along to ensure an easy return taxi trip to the hotel.

Bangkok: This city is known for some of the world's worst traffic, but if you take a tuk-tuk, a type of motorcycle with a small one or two passenger compartment attached to the back, you can scoot in between traffic and get to your destination in a more timely manner.

Alison Couper, Senior Director of Communications, Hotels.com, comments, "It is great news for London to be the home of the best taxis for the fifth year running. London's iconic black cabs are recognized around the world as being the highest quality and it's due to the impressive expertise of London taxi drivers that they're seen to have the best local knowledge compared to any other city in the world!"

Notes to editors*

Hotels.com invited travellers to vote on the world's best taxi services across seven categories - "Cleanliness", "Knowledge of the area", "Quality of the driving", "Friendliness", "Safety and Availability" and "Value". The survey was conducted in July 2012, using a weighted average based on a sample size of more than 1,600 respondents across 28 countries/cities: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, UK, USA.

* Hotels.com survey August 2012. Total number of survey respondents: 1,671.

About DFA Intercultural Global Solutions
DFA is a global consultancy specializing in cross-cultural information, training and research. Led by Dean Foster for more than twenty years, the DFA team and worldwide network provides intercultural global solutions for Fortune 500 companies and individuals. DFA's up-to-date and practical cultural information is also available to international leisure travelers as well as individual business travelers through books, webinars, and culture guides.

About Hotels.com®
Hotels.com (also known in Canada as Hotels.ca) is a leading online accommodation booking brand. Through its global network of websites, Hotels.com, LP connects travellers with almost 155,000 properties around the world, ranging from international chains and all-inclusive resorts to local favourites and bed & breakfasts, together with all the information needed to book the perfect stay. Hotels.com, LP benefits from one of the largest hotel contracting teams in the industry, obtaining the best rates for its customers, and offers frequent sales, special deals and promotions. There are more than 7 million Guest Reviews on the websites from users who have actually stayed in the hotels to ensure customers can make an informed choice when booking. Through Hotels.com, LP's industry-leading loyalty program Welcome RewardsTM, customers can earn a free night for every 10 nights stayed at more than 85,000 hotels. Under its Price Match Guarantee, if a customer can find the same deal for less on a prepaid hotel, Hotels.com, LP will refund the difference. Travellers can book online or by contacting one of the multilingual call centers. Special apps for mobile phones and tablets can also be downloaded at www.hotels.com/deals/mobile_app/ enabling customers to book on the go with access to 20,000 last minute deals. Hotels.com publishes an award-winning twice-yearly review of international hotel room price trends called the Hotels.com Hotel Price Index™, which is now produced in 31 individual country editions, with North American data available at www.hotel-price-index.com. Follow Hotels.com on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/hotelsdotcomca, on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/hotelsdotcomca and on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/hotelsdotcom. Hotels.com is part of Expedia, Inc., the largest online travel company in the world with an extensive portfolio that includes some of the world's best-known brands.

Hotels.com, Finding You the Perfect Place and the Hotels.com logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Hotels.com, LP. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners. © 2012 Hotels.com, LP. All rights reserved. CST # 2083949-580

 

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SOURCE: Hotels.com

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