Above: Climbing on 1000 year old monuments. Something you shouldn’t do…
What should you do to be a better tourist this summer? We had an article published this weekend in the Globe and Mail, Canada’s most read newspaper. For those with an online subscription to the G&M, you can access the article here. If you’re Canadian I recommend subscribing to the newspaper (as we have).
For those of you who don’t have access to it, I’ve included a version of the article below:
The article focused on Europe because the continent easily accounts for most of the world’s total tourist visits (in 2016, 58% of tourists went to Europe. The 2nd most popular continent was Asia at 20%). If you take just summertime visits the percentage visiting Europe would be even higher. As a commenter on the G&M said, people should broaden their horizons. He’s right, there are other places that people should consider visiting in summer. I wrote about that specific subject here.
Is there any other bad tourist behaviour that gets on your nerves?
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Anita @ No Particular Place to Go
You had me laughing at hello with this post, Frank! Loved, loved, loved it and each of the points rang true. As “a local” who lived for 10 years on Padre Island off the coast of Texas, I dreaded the influx of barfing spring breakers, inconsiderate drivers and barely there, beach bikini babes strolling into restaurants. And now, I find myself as a local again in another touristy beach-tropolis in Portugal experiencing floods of tourists from all over the world, especially in June, July and August. Ugh! One thing I’d add to your list is foreign tourists who attempt to drive in an unfamiliar country and don’t bother to learn the speed limits or rules of the road (dare I mention round-abouts?) which cause many accidents each summer. From a slow traveler’s as well as a local’s perspective, not-so-common courtesy goes a long way towards making tourist season either a time of welcome or dread. Anita
It’s interesting going from tourist to local isn’t it Anita? We lived through the same in Split, really disliked the summer months and all the shitty young tourists going there to get drunk and get laid. I’ve also always said that it’s up to different places to work on getting the kind of tourists they want. etc. stop promoting crappy music festivals and instead promote more cultural events.
Frank, our recent travels in the low season have kept us reasonably safe from many of the above behaviours. But I particularly hate the rude and selfish Instagram fanatics who clearly lack common sense. I think you made an important point about “giving back” and spending some money to help the local economy…such as choosing local guides, buying local produce etc. I prefer to avoid very touristic places in the high season, although I know that it is not always possible. Great article.
You will never hear such a rude phrase from a waiter in France, Italy, Germany, Russia, Serbia, or Montenegro. But in Prague – easily. Inhospitable people.
Frank, excuse me for off topic. I just hate waiters (men) who try to show me that they are tough.
My congratulations with the publishing of this article in the paper. It is deserved.
Thank you Victor, you make a good point.
BTW – will you be in Montenegro in September? We might be passing through and if we do it would be a pleasure to meet you.
Appreciate your congratulations 🙂
Unfortunately, no. But if you have some questions, write me.
great tips. You would hope that most are common sense, but as a friend of mine often says, there is noting ‘common’ about sense!
Exactly. If the world was full of common sense people wouldn’t be throwing up on street corners in the middle of Prague…
Great article, Frank! When we travel we don’t appreciate loudmouths or partying until 3 am! Now that I am in my 70’s, a loudmouth is someone who speaks up so you can hear (I have two hearing aids!). I have to say that during our time in Portugal this winter we did not experience any disturbances. Portugal is a dream destination for us! Can’t wait for each of your blogs, Frank! It helps us plan new experiences!
Thank you for the kind comment Keith 🙂
Spot on Frank. Two more that drive us crazy.
#1 People who ride the escalator to the top and as they step off they just stop. They don’t know in which direction they need to go so they just stop making it impossible for anyone else to get off the escalator. This is especially frustrating when running to catch a train. Speaking of stopping…
#2 People who just stop in the middle of a sidewalk to take out their map and figure out where they are or where they need to go, or they stop in the middle of the sidewalk to have a conversation and even though they see people trying to pass, they make absolutely no effort to move.
I think I should stop there. Ha! Ha!
Totally agree Patti, drives us crazy. It’s just people who have no consideration and there seem to be more and more of them…
Love this article. You touched on a couple of my pet peeves – Be respectful and photography etiquette. Even for me, as a visitor to a country, I cringe at the boorish behaviour of some of my fellow travellers.
Thank you Pru 🙂
Great article Frank! My peeve is not dressing appropriately…I believe you already know that? I hope people take your information to heart.
You’re right Paula, it’s incredible seeing people going to the Grand Palace in Bangkok in halter tops and little booty shorts (ie. beachwear). I remember the Chinese were issuing their Guidebook for Civilized Tourism telling people not to pick their noses in public, pee in pools, or steal airline life jackets (I’m including the link to that here). I think all governments should do the same for their citizens.