Marcos Mesa Sam Wordley /

A tweet-based comparison.

New York is notoriously hostile to tourists, but it’s got nothing on Arlington, Texas. That’s according to a new study conducted by private air charter company Stratos Jets, which analyzed thousands of tourist-related tweets from across the country.

The company used an algorithm to assess the positive or negative sentiment in geotagged tweets featuring the word “tourist,” then used those scores to rank the hospitality of different cities and regions. Below are a few of the sampled tweets:

And then there’s the classic:

The results largely accord with regional stereotypes. The Midwest appears to be the friendliest, the Northeast the nastiest, and the West Coast—where gorp-eating hippies presumably cancel out Beverly Hills snobs—comes off roughly neutral. But the South is surprisingly inhospitable to tourists, with negative sentiment scores comparable to the Northeast’s.

The study also ranked cities on their “love” or “hate” for tourists, with Chicago emerging as the most welcoming by far. On the other hand, fanny-packed visitors should probably prepare for an icy reception in Arlington, New York, Las Vegas, Boston, and New Orleans.

Of course, tweets are an imperfect measure of a city’s openness to tourism. The World Economic Forum, in its Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report, ranks a nation’s hospitality by the political and economic infrastructure it provides for the tourism industry. The 2013 report asked citizens to rate how “welcoming” their country was to foreign visitors, but this variable didn’t appear in the latest edition.

Still, the raw vitriol spewed by a city’s active social media users might be a good predictor of the number of eye rolls, foot taps, and throat clearings you’re likely to elicit by fumbling for a transit pass or blocking the sidewalk in a new city. Another data set from the Stratos Jets study reveals where you’re likely to encounter the most vulgar tourist haters, based on an analysis of expletive-laden tweets:

You’ve been warned.

Top image: Marcos Mesa Sam Wordley /

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Life

    Mapping the Changing Colors of Fall Across the U.S.

    Much of the country won’t see those vibrant oranges and reds until mid-October, which leaves plenty of time for leaf peepers to plan their autumn road trips.

  2. Transportation

    Why Are Little Kids in Japan So Independent?

    In Japan, small children take the subway and run errands alone, no parent in sight. The reason why has more to do with social trust than self-reliance.

  3. An aerial photo of downtown Miami.

    The Fastest-Growing U.S. Cities Aren’t What You Think

    Looking at the population and job growth of large cities proper, rather than their metro areas, uncovers some surprises.

  4. a map comparing the sizes of several cities

    The Commuting Principle That Shaped Urban History

    From ancient Rome to modern Atlanta, the shape of cities has been defined by the technologies that allow commuters to get to work in about 30 minutes.

  5. A woman looks straight at camera with others people and trees in background.

    Why Pittsburgh Is the Worst City for Black Women, in 6 Charts

    Pittsburgh is the worst place for black women to live in for just about every indicator of livability, says the city’s Gender Equity Commission.