What are the customs on tipping? Do you tip for meals? Tours?
We live in Vegas and tip for everything but want to be respectful of the customs.
Here is just one of many threads on this subject. tripadvisor.com/…42390558
Do a search and you can read more. Sounds like tipping is more acceptable now than in the past but not something that is expected.
Tipping is not a local custom at all and is only 'becoming more accepted' because many Americans insist on doing so, because that's what they do at home.
Tahiti is not a 3rd World Country but has higher wages that the US and is more comparable to France (one of the reasons why it's such an expensive place to visit). In most European countries people may round up to the next Euro, but leaving huge 15-20% tips is purely an American custom.
Anyone would be a fool to turn down a tip, but tipping is not part of the indigenous culture of French Polynesia.
I've had a number of conversations with Polynesian owned and operated tour companies about this, who state universally that they rely heavily on tips. Whether or not this the fault of the Americans or whether or not tipping is part of the "indigenous culture" (it wasn't a part or the indigenous culture or America either!), I've ascertained that it is very much expected and built into the tour structure and payment of workers on tours, and so I tip, and tip well for those excursions. I do not do (as I do in Americanr restaurants) tip 20%+ on hotel restaurant bills because I have researched and agree with Wolves that servers at such places earn a living wage and are not taxed for assumed tips like they are in America. I do usually leave 5% or so, sometimes more for exceptional service and I am more likely to tip more at independently owned restaurants. I tip bell hops and taxi drivers for the same reason that I tip tour guides. I have honest and frank conversations with workers when I am curious and want to do the right thing, and I have found that they are generally forthright and honest about the issue. Don't be afraid to ask. When indoubt, I would rather tip "too much" than too little. No one in these service industries are getting rich.
Thank you all. I try to travel and be respect of the area and people.
As a very long time traveler to French Polynesia I can assure everyone that back in the 80's tipping was
never a subject mentioned. It was against the social custom in FP. Over the years tipping has become more
accepted on the islands that cater to the tourist industry. I have never felt the need to tip and still don't but
if you wish to tip for good serice then do as you wish. Rest assured that the wages and benifits are not
3rd world by any means. I'd trade my US Social Security for their CPS any day
Tipping in French Polynesia is not required, however it will be very appreciated by everyone. People here are very welcoming and will often go the extra mile to share their culture and show you a good time; it certainly won't be seen as offending and they will be more great-full than you think.
The people who say they rely heavily on tipping are really just lying! The minimum wage in FP is 3 times that of the US or at least 2x! Tipping was never a custom here and the more you will bring in your American habits the more you will spoil the population and the more they will expect you to tip!
Most (licensed) tour operators with boats etc are funded by the government with heavily subsidised petrol prices. They are lying outright if they say they depend on your tips!
It is a true shame to see such b-s*** published.
Award those who rend you a good service but not at all in the same spirit as in the US. Please!
Minimum wage here is 1800 us$ and that is not counting working on Sundays, public holidays, over time etc. which is very well remunerated. Research before posting such comments like "its built into the structure"
We did not find this to be so. The island is as impoverished as most I have visited. Tipping is both expected and welcomed. Recognition for service is a common practice
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