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Mumbai wins dirtiest city tag? Not quite

TripAdvisor, the travel site, today announced the results of its Cities Survey, “a look into how travelers and locals view 40 key tourist cities around the world. The results were compiled based on more than 75,000 responses to a survey sent to those who have recently written TripAdvisor reviews on the featured cities”.

The dirtiest city? Representational image.Reuters

Only Mumbai, of Indian cities, figures (it is unclear from TripAdvisor’s press release if any other Indian city featured in the survey) in the top ten, worst or best, when measured by various yardsticks.

There’s no point looking at the ‘best’ list. Anyone who lives in Mumbai would have been shocked to see Mumbai on it. But the shock is that Mumbai has not been rated the worst in so many categories. Let’s take a look at the low rankers:

Without benefit of knowing the rest of the 40 cities that were part of the survey, it’s apparent that there are at least three cities have more unfriendly taxi drivers than Mumbai and with worse taxi services than Mumbai. And, wonder of wonders, if someone from Hanoi, Sharm el Sheikh ot Marrakch came to Mumbai, they would believe that the public transport in this city is better than their own. Wow.

So Mumbai can pat itself on the back and celebrate.

Don’t believe the research? Go to Marrakech. Or Sharm el Sheikh or Punta Cana, wherever they are and check it out for yourself.

No, actually, don’t believe the research. In a note to editors, TripAdvisor includes a caveat. “The survey was sent to those that have written a review on either a hotel, restaurant or attraction in the featured cities during 2012, with the majority of surveys sent to travelers and the remainder to locals. To be included in the results a city had a minimum of 300 completed responses, with the ranking based on average scores for each question. All analysis was conducted by Brainbox Research. The selection of featured cities is based on the key cities from countries which receive the largest number of international visitor arrivals (data compiled by the UNWTO 2010).”

And all those in Chennai and Bangalore and Kolkata who are upset at Mumbai’s top rank, fret not. It might just be that less than 300 completed responses regarding your city were received or you might have won the crown yourself. Any one of these could easily have been the world’s worst for ‘friendliest taxi drivers’, ‘best taxi services’, ‘cleanest streets’ and ‘ease of getting around’.

So Mumbaikars, don’t rest on your laurels. Stay rude and unfriendly, spit on the wall or the road and abuse the guy on the local who just bumped into you. We’re winners now, and let’s make sure we stay up on top.