It’s holiday time around here. Living and working in a coastal area quite popular with tourists has seen me become somewhat of an expert on tourist behaviour and stereotypes.

Each time the School Holidays start, the town swells with holiday makers, blocking up the streets, turning a 5 minute journey into at least a 20 minute one. Barging into car park spaces ahead of you in their aggressive city ways, not realising that here in the “country” we operate in a much more easy and polite fashion. They bring their ice cream dripping, sand encrusted kids into our shops, then stand in clusters at street corners effectively blocking the flow of foot-traffic, and nothing and no one is more important than them and their “holiday fun!”

getting away from it all..

getting away from it all..

Having spent many years working in the Hospitality Industry, I would see things, and be required to perform acts, particularly attributed to these tourists and their different and difficult needs and requirements. I’ve compiled a bit of a list of typical “Tourist Types”.

1. The Pack Horse.

This is the family (or couple), you see driving down the main street of town with the station wagon packed so full of gear, you actually cannot see the human inhabitants. They bring everything on their holiday.

They have a bike carrier on the back loaded with five bikes and a toddler trike, and they’re not afraid to ride 3 or 4 abreast either. Often stopping both lanes of traffic and causing mayhem on the footpaths.

Later at the beach, you see them set up a gazebo, barbecue area, beach volleyball net, wading pool, beach umbrella and a snack station for the kids.  Each family supports at least one camp supply business in their suburb.  Every gadget available is present at their campsite. They even have gadgets to support their gadgets.

Really "roughing it"

Really “roughing it”

This group want you to admire their shiny things

 

2. The Family Pack.

They arrive in a sea of sunburnt faces. There’s Mum, Dad and all the kids…. Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents, cousins and anyone else they have nominated as part of the “Family”.

They have the biggest tables at the restaurant, they book out entire motels… Nothing is too much trouble for you when you are helping them out.

They generally have an outstanding family trait like thick prescription glasses, unruly curly hair or ginger & freckles. They go everywhere in a large group and have an elected “spokesperson”  do all their food and drink ordering. (Sometimes logically, but usually not.)

features

This family have been coming to this spot for Christmas/Easter/Holidays for 40 plus years and have born 4 generations of future holiday makers.  Obviously their enjoyment of the town and it’s surroundings far outweighs yours as a mere year round resident of the town!

This group want you to envy their family spirit.

 

3.The Wolf Pack.

Last but not least, the Wolf Pack. They are the group of friends who met in High School and have done everything together, ever since. They all got married the same year. Their children are mostly born in the same years. They holiday together and party together. And they always will.

That's not even her husband....

(That’s not even her husband….)

Like an episode of “Sister Wives”, it is unclear exactly which biological connections have produced which progeny, as the children hover in a cloud adjacent to the Wolf Pack. They are the Nexgen Wolf Pack and as such are an almost independent body. One mother/father is as good as any and therefore all children are cared for and by whosoever’s turn it is to do the “parenting”. This ultimately allows for the least amount of child supervision possible, and the most amount of sitting around looking cool and sipping on wine.

duck-feed-bella-pushing-stroller-0369

Toddlers of this group are at a huge advantage, as they get to really explore the world without the constraints of parenting or supervision. Their role is to wander far and as possibly wide as they can get before somebody responsible brings them back.

This group want you to adore their bonds of friendship.

 

Often my inspiration for my posts comes from something that has happened here at home, or from something talked about with friends or relatives. The inspiration for this post came from nearly being collected (in my car), by a holiday maker as he entered the car park from the exit gates as I was leaving. This wouldn’t be such a big deal if it didn’t happen every single holiday.

Having spent many years in hospitality serving the above types, I will admit to being biased by my experiences somewhat, but even if I had no calendar or other device to inform me of Holiday periods? I would be able to tell by the amount of rubbish piling along the streets, the amount of times I will be cut off abruptly on the roads, and the amounts of large squabbling groups of people suddenly cleaning the shelves at the local supermarkets.

Yes, I am informed of the amount of money said tourists spend in my area, and the businesses they keep alive, but I am also informed by my own behaviour when I go on holiday. I do not litter at any time, (holidaying or not).  I have respect enough for the environment and people who live in the area to not be overly noisy or unpleasant.

I am never rude to staff in restaurants and shops. I do my best not to make unnecessary mess and ensure my children behave. I am confident that nobody spends any severe length of time trying to get around me on a footpath as I am respectful and aware of others needing passage.

Weighing all this up, I find the influx of tourists to the area severely wanting. To drive through town on a Saturday morning to find street posts and rubbish bins pushed over by the youth of the night before? To find rubbish on the beaches and all along the highways, even in remote areas? It’s unacceptable, and makes me cringe every time.

I can only hope that this coming Christmas being my first for many, many years that I won’t be looking after the tourists at work, I can hide at home and stay innocently unaware of most of the shenanigans created by them.

 

 

 

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