True, German tourists are superior to the British

Are the British worthy of their bad reputation on the continent?

British tourists are a bunch of cheap louts and Spain, our favorite holiday destination, is fed up with them. This isn’t a new feeling, but it’s making the rounds again. In Majorca, tourism director Lucia Escribano said the island “is not interested” in “cheap tourists from the UK” and last week Lanzarote president María Dolores Corujo also expressed her aim to attract a higher level of vacationers. Previously mentioned, Lanzarote should “reduce [its] reliance on the British market,” this time singled out the Germans as particularly desirable.

“It is essential to work on the diversification of the sector and on the growth of markets such as the German one, which adapt to our intentions of focusing on quality tourism and on holidaymakers, who spend more when they are here and distance us from the mass of tourism”, he said Ms Corujo at the ITB travel industry event in Berlin.British people, it should be noted, make up 45% of incoming tourists to Lanzarote, by far the largest share, followed by Germans who make up 14%.

As far as I’m concerned, we Brits have rightly earned a reputation for bad behavior on holiday, especially when it comes to the Balearics and Canaries. They’re among our cheapest and closest destinations for sunshine, and we all know that most anti-social behavior is performed by those who book the most affordable basement breaks.

British tourists have long flocked to Benidorm for a dose of sun, sea, sand and sangria - Getty

British tourists have long flocked to Benidorm for a dose of sun, sea, sand and sangria – Getty

But that’s not to say that Germans are incapable of alcoholic antics. After all, they are the architects of Oktoberfest, the annual two-week soda. My fiancé, Julius, is German and has confirmed that his homeland has its equivalent of “chav”. They’re labeled “proles,” it seems, and tend to descend in the summer on, you guessed it, Majorca, where they colonize a nightclub known as Schinkenstrasse (“Ham Street”), which has been around since the 1980s and is the answer to the Germany at the “British Square” of Benidorm.

However, after several years of living with a German partner, I can confidently say that his compatriots are much more likely to be sober, tidy and restrained than my own people.

Let’s not forget that in 2018 the Magaluf authorities issued a specific reminder to UK tourists not to “drink, undress or defecate in public”. Such escapades are commonplace for the English; for the Germans they would be extraordinary. Julius, a German helicopter pilot who tours the continent, confirmed to me that the British are by far the most alcoholic of the nationalities he meets.

Annabel with her German boyfriend, Julius

Annabel with her German boyfriend, Julius

Conversely, the Germans have developed a reputation for almost annoyingly sensible conduct. Telegraph Travel consumer advocate Gill Charlton ran a B&B in Cornwall for many years, giving her the chance to get a close-up look at the German holidaymaker. “They speak good English, never complain about the weather, take off their shoes to go upstairs and have a holiday plan that usually involves walking a lot and drinking British beer, always in moderation,” she says.

Andrew Eames, the man behind the website, writing for The Telegraph a few years ago, agreed. “They take their holidays very seriously. In fact, they take them so seriously that it’s hard to tell if they’re actually enjoying themselves,” she said. for cold towels, sodas and snacks…even if that means not noticing what’s outside the window.

The approach of the top management of Spanish tourism is not so much hostile as rational. It obviously makes sense for Lanzarote to diversify its market by not relying too much on one nationality. And if I owned a giant resort, I’d rather it be full of Germans than Brits. I would, however, ban the use of towels as a means of conquering sunbeds, which Julius not only admits to doing to his compatriots, but doesn’t consider rude.

César Manrique's Jameos del Agua in Lanzarote, where British tourists may not be as welcome as before

César Manrique’s Jameos del Agua in Lanzarote, where British tourists may not be as welcome as before

The real problem here is overtourism in general: the teeming with otherwise peaceful places, affecting not only Majorca and Lanzarote but also Venice, Santorini and hundreds of others.

One solution, which certainly would not be popular, is to make tourism expensive again. Take Bhutan, the Himalayan country, first opened to travelers in 1974 and based on a ‘high value, low volume’ strategy, requiring minimum spend from all visitors (currently £164 per person, excluding the accommodation). I bet you don’t see much drunken debauchery there. Spain seems to be getting closer to a similar goal, albeit in a less draconian way.

Until then, unless the Spanish government starts closing down cheap resorts and issuing hefty levies on incoming Britons, I can’t see Mrs Corujo’s dream of a high-class Lanzarote coming true. And personally, as soon as my finances look healthier, I’ll be promptly on a Jet2 flight to a cheap Spanish island desperate for the sun, where I’ll have to tolerate both the deluge of British yobs and the mortifying label of my own German partner. when it comes to sunbeds.

What do you think? Are German tourists really superior to the British? Let us know in the comments

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