Ugly Tourists

Let’s face it. Tourists are annoying. So annoying, in fact, that some parts of Europe have had enough with disorderly tourists.


Most travelers wish the destinations and sites they visit were unoccupied by everyone but themselves. I know I do. I’m just not willing to spend the extra money required to be with groups that are smaller in size.

Although not unique to specific nationalities, Americans are often associated with irritating behaviors. Some of the most common irritations include these:

  • Complaining that things are not like America (indoor temperatures, fussy food requests, etc.)
  • Expectation for everyone to speak English
  • An assumption that U.S. dollars can be used anywhere
  • Disrespect for local cultures and customs
  • Appearance and dress of a tourist
  • Thinking the rules do not apply to them

Celebrities are also well-known for their loathsome behavior abroad. Justin Beiber is one such repeat offender. Whether he’s having his bodyguards carry him to the top of the Great Wall of China, or saying Anne Frank would be a Belieber if she were alive today, Beiber has offended many across the globe.

It is no surprise that some parts of Europe are inundated with tourists. Southern Europe has beautiful, warm beaches that are popular destinations for tourists and are frequently visited by British citizens on holiday.

DSC_0516There has been a noticeable uptick in tourism from Asia, where large crowds are much more common, but the biggest problem appears to be tourists from other regions of Europe. So much so, protests by natives against tourists are becoming increasingly common in some countries in the south.

Part of the problem may stem from ports in locations where cruise ships dock. The large influx of visitors can easily overwhelm popular destinations which are already saturated with tourists from land and air. Many do not have the infrastructure in place to handle such numbers.

Another source of problems is alcohol. Tourists like to drink, and when they drink, they tend to become quite obnoxious. Laws in Italy, Spain and Croatia have started targeting these unruly visitors by banning types of behavior in which drunk tourists tend to engage (see points 4, 5 & 6 above.) Here is a partial list of recent legislation in various European countries.

Here is a partial list of recent or proposed legislation in various European countries to crack down on disorderly visitors.


This nation appeared on the radar of tourists after the collapse of Yugoslavia in the late 1990s and has been experiencing a tourism growth spurt ever since. According to Bloomberg, tourism makes up over 20 percent of the economy, and because it is a coastal nation, it is a common destination for cruise ships.

In Dubrovnik, the local government plans to reduce the number of docked ships from six to two per day. This will lower the number of visitors by 8,000.

Hvar has also passed new local ordinances targeting tourists and will institute fines up to €650 for wearing swimsuits to the town centre. Other fines include €700 for public eating and drinking.


Spain is looking to limit new hotel construction and putting a suspension on licenses for tourist rentals to address overcrowding caused by tourism. Barcelona has threatened to fine holiday rental companies such as Airbnb and HomeAway for doing business in the city. Other cities, like Madrid, have strict DUI/DWI laws and consider a BAC of 0.05 to be legally drunk. The country also has many of the same bans Croatia has recently instituted for wearing beachwear in town squares and for public intoxication.


Tourism has had a strong effect on the local economy in Venice. Rent prices have been on the rise and there has been an upsurge of sea and air pollution. Most measures address overcrowding issues, public modesty and intoxication.

I’ll be looking into dates to see when Brits are most likely on holiday. I’m guessing this would be a good time to visit the U.K. and Australia, while their natives swarm the beaches of southern Europe.






Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.