I HAVE no wish to alarm anyone but tourists are returning to Spain in even greater numbers. Forewarned being forearmed their behaviour suggests we should be on our guard. Aircraft cabin crews reveal that tourists have asked if the noise from the aircraft’s engines could be turned down; others cannot figure out why the windows can’t be opened. A Virgin Atlantic trolley dolly was asked if the captain could please stop the turbulence.
There is some uncertainty as to fuselage space. A passenger asked where the showers were. Others have been told; no, there isn’t a McDonalds aboard, nor is there a massage parlour or a playroom. Distances cause bewilderment. One wrote: “It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England. It only took the Americans three hours to get home.”
COMING TO A BEACH NEAR YOU
The excitement of air travel combined with heatstroke has a significant effect on tourists. One was heard to grumble that they had to queue outside where there was no air conditioning. A visitor whinged: “No one told us there would be fish in the sea. The children were startled.” These tourists are coming to a beach near you.
A visitor to the Costa Blanca said there were too many Spanish people there; too many foreigners; even the hotel receptionist spoke Spanish. Travel guides and brochures are often criticised. A tour operator was told he had a duty to tell them they would encounter unruly guests; another complained: “We found the sand was not like the sand in the brochure.”
Tourists bring their own teabags but a visitor was dismayed because the shop didn’t sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts. Shopping is challenging for our summer guests: “We bought Ray-Ban sunglasses for five euros from a street trader only to find out they were fakes.”
Undesirable types are found wherever we go but tourists bring their own with them. “Topless sunbathing on the beach should be banned. The holiday was ruined as my husband spent all day looking at other women.”
Several hairdressers doubted they would be able to stay at a hotel of their choice. Why? The brochure said ‘No Hairdressers at the Accommodation.’ Perhaps one of these ladies was the one who complained that she was bitten by a mosquito. No one had told her mosquitoes bite.
It is no use being accommodating. A tourist complained that their one-bed flat was ‘significantly smaller than their friends’ 3-bed apartment.’ Another held her booking agent responsible for her pregnancy. They had ordered a twin-bed but were given a double-bed: “This would not have happened if you had put us in the room we booked,” she wrote.
Don’t blame the Spanish climate; it happens wherever tourists migrate: A sightseer at an African game lodge spotted a sexually aroused elephant. He complained that it ruined his honeymoon by making him feel ‘inadequate’.
Perhaps those of us who have taken up residence abroad should purchase the Dummies Book of Tourism. It might provide answers to questions like: Was the Grand Canyon man-made? Are there lakes in the Lake District? Do you know of any undiscovered ruins? Can I wear high heels in Australia? Is Wales closed during the winter? Why did they build Windsor Castle beneath Heathrow’s flight path? Love them or hate them; tourists do enrich our economy, and our lives.