Archive for August, 2017

I saw it coming, i saw it coming from a mile away. I am talking about the latest numerous spats by exasperated and fed up local Croatians who have been inundated with tourists from around the World (Thanks, Game of Thrones).

Yet there are some particular tourists that are copping more criticism than others and yes the Green and Gold Aussies are unfortunately one of them. Sure, we have seen it all -the not so wonderful etiquette of tourists coming to our own shores here in Australia, yet i feel like our tourism load doesn’t match our reputation, our “laid back and relaxed” welcome we greet tourists with isn’t the same “laid back and relaxed” attitude we take with us when we travel abroad.

First of all, we like to party. It must be all of our nanny state lock-out laws that make us want to let our hair down and just go crazy at Moon Parties in Thailand or Yachts sailing over the Adriatic Sea in Croatia. I get it, from a Worldwide scale our nightlife sucks and it doesn’t hurt to live a little.

 

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Drunk Australian man plunges into the Baroque Fountain in Rome. He is then fined.

 

Yet one thing that i think that gets the best of us is that even though we love a good time we are not so accommodating with the customs, laws, rules and regulations of other countries and once this complaint is recognized we can turn from cute cuddly Wombats to ferocious wild “drop bears”. (Relax, they’re not real).

The latest complaint comes from Croatia. I am half Croatian and i have been to Croatia at least six times in my life. All of my Croatian family still reside there and my last visit was in 2015. When i visited Croatia in the Early 90’s until the Early 00’s people would often say “Croatia, where is that?” or they’d seem perplexed and ask if its near “Russia”.

Yet today Croatia is on every Australians radar, it’s pristine beaches, wonderful food and lively people are all part of a very attractive package, i know because i have seen it. I remember in the Mid 1990’s visiting the ancient Fortress town of Dubrovnik, back then i saw next to no tourist buses and crowds were minimal. It was a relaxed, calm and absolutely gorgeous atmosphere where locals and tourists alike could still feel a sense of peace in their day.

You see Croatia was never meant to be the next Ibiza, this is not its authentic self. Despite its huge coast it only has a few “party” towns and even then they were relatively tame compared to many other Worldwide party destinations. Boy has that changed, fast forward approximately 20 years later and Croatia has become a place synonymous with drunken adventures and us Aussies being within the top 20 drinkers in the World, why would we say no?

 

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Drunk and part naked Australian tourist sitting in a public bench in Dubrovnik, Croatia.


Yet it appears the Croatians are now fed up
. Accusing Australian tourists of having sex in public, climbing balconies, running amok and starting fights. It was only last month that an Australian man was charged in Split, Croatia for leaving a man with life threatening injuries after a fight.  Australian tourists have also been accused of vandalizing property and smashing up their accommodation.

One Croatian local claims “Young Australians are blatantly performing sex acts on the streets without any shame, pissing in our swimming pools, climbing our balconies and bathing naked in the harbour.’

The problem is these aren’t isolated cases, Croatian paper reports are coming out that are singling out Australian tourists as being especially unpleasant guests. Hospitality workers and residents who deal with Australians would know and it appears our reputation is slowly being flushed down the drain.

This is not only a Croatian problem. I will never forget when i was in Bali, Indonesia – a board short wearing, oakley sunglass wearing Australian male tourist was looking around at one of those poor clothing shacks on the outskirts of Kuta, when he addressed the older lady working there asking how much it was for a particular dress she said “120,000 Rupiah” he scoffed and said “No, no, too much, make it less” then she responded “Can do 100,000 rupiah” he then replied “No! 20,000 Rupiah” which mind you is approximately two Australian dollars. When she looked at him with relative sadness he waved the note over her face and said very condescendingly “do you want it or not!?

 

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Anti Tourist Protests have taken place in Barcelona where locals say they feel “terrorized” by misbehaving tourists.

 

The problem was this man was sober and he was not young either and this is the sort of attitude that puts us all in the wrong books and we don’t deserve it. I know many fellow Australians that want to travel and absorb the country they are staying in. The good and the bad and everything in between they want to embrace as part of their experience.

Unlike another fellow Aussie tourist who complained that she could not openly drink in the United Arab Emirates nor have a “piss up” on the streets without getting arrested- she then went on to complain about the heat and the sufferance of Ramadan, despite not being obliged to partake in it.

I feel like we need to do some extensive research before visiting a place. Look at the local customs and learn them. When in Japan take off your shoes. When in remote areas of Fiji cover yourself with a Sarong. When in Dubai don’t make out in public. When in Croatia be considerate of the locals and keep the noise and rubbish down. When in Bali respect that the people there work hard with tiny wages and don’t need to be reminded how high and mighty your Aussie dollar is. When in the United States- TIP! (Even i despised this, but i conformed!).

If you are an Australian tourist and you are a well seasoned traveler with conduct, then that is wonderful. This post isn’t meant to drop your confidence or make you feel bad, it’s simply to raise awareness that our reputation is dwindling and i don’t want YOU to bear the brunt of the negative repercussions.

Let us put ourselves back in the Global scale as being tourists with dignity, respect and appreciation- let us have fun but also be mindful of the places we’re in and the people we are with. We need to reclaim our reputation and let the World know that indeed we ARE a cultured people, heck we live in one of the most Multicultural nations on this Earth, we should know better and sure as heck we do! So let’s make Australia proud! đŸ™‚

Peace, Salam.

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