Tourists behaving badly …again!

We travel because we want to see the great sites of the world. We travel because we want to experience different cultures, exciting cuisines and, well, different stuff. But we are after all just humans. And sometimes (in fact quite often) the bad behaviour of tourists hits the headlines.

Like this fellow who had the bulk head and decided to operate his airline tv with his bare toes.

Now in the back of my mind I am thinking that this guy is pretty agile and quite clever to be able to pick out his favourite movie with his big toe. Also he clearly provided entertainment and amusement for those around him. I also wonder if bare toes are any dirtier than fingers?

And then Venice is back in the news with a couple of backpackers brewing up a cup of their own coffee just next to the Rialto Bridge. As reported by Bruce Parkinson in Open Jaw.

“The actions of a pair of German backpackers were reported to police by a local resident and the 32- and 35-year-olds were fined $1,250 under new rules introduced in May to preserve the city centre’s “decorum.

Venice mayor Luigi Brugnaro said: “Venice must be respected and the rude people who think they can come to the city and do whatever they want must understand that they will be taken, sanctioned and removed.

“Our city will always be open and welcoming to all those who want to come and visit it,” the Mayor added. “At the same time, we will be intransigent to those who think they will come and do what they want.”

Now I understand that maybe the couple might not have been able to afford a cup of coffee in St Mark’s Square or maybe objected to pay the price (which is a rip off but you have to do it once) but they ended up with the most expensive cup of coffee of their trip.

Talking about back packers – there is a new breed out there. Now known as beg packers. These young people are travelling around the world – mostly Asia it seems – begging on the streets for people to help them see the world. To see these first world people begging for money in a third world country where many people are trying hard to survive from one day to the next really made my blood boil.

And then there are those who offer hugs in return for a donation …. and weirdly they blind fold themselves. I just really can’t get over this image in Kuala Lumpur – what on earth were they thinking ….

But let’s end this on a positive note and salute all those intrepid backpackers who work two shifts and save up all their money to travel the world, never expect something for nothing and have spent many a night sleeping at a train station. Go forth and conquer!

By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.


  1. Well, that’s a new one for me Lesley (Beg-packers). I agree with your comment about “making your blood boil”. They wouldn’t want to approach my husband! Have they no shame!


  2. I wonder about the young people who sit outside the local book store or coffee shop with “cap in hand”. They could also just as easily walk inside and pick up an application for employment. Anne R


    1. So true – in fact I know many young people who have travelled around Australia New Zealand for a year and got a work permit before they left so they could work on farms or in coffee shops to support their travels…. kudos to them!


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