Thursday, 8 August 2013


Hello. My name is Kostas Economides and I am a lecturer in the Department of Economics at the University of the South of England (USE for short). Well, actually that is not true really as the names of individuals and institutions in this blog have been changed to protect the innocent - and the guilty!

People have been asking me what I think about what has been going on in Malia in Crete. A British tourist was murdered there recently.

It seems that he was fatally stabbed in a fight between rival groups of young British holidaymakers.

Malia, and some other towns in Greece, have become party resorts for young tourists determined to have a wild time. This follows the pattern of development of some resorts in Spain.

Now the locals are concerned about the effects of this rowdy and sometimes violent behaviour. The mayor of Malia has set up a meeting for later this year with mayors from other Greek resorts of this type and the Tourism Ministry in Athens. It may be that they look to develop more limited special and isolated zones for these young visitors away from the town centres. That way they hope to keep the town centres free of drink-fuelled youngsters at night.

Part of the trouble is that the locals didn't really anticipate quite what would happen when they started responding to the demands for late night drinks and the effects that it would have on British youngsters. Greeks of the same age enjoy drinks too but tend not to look to get stupidly drunk, or aggressive and violent.

Another issue is the way that some tour reps encourage the young tourists to visit pubs and clubs from which they can get a commission. Often these places provide shots and other high alcohol drinks which remove the youngsters' inhibitions which leads to bad behaviour.

It has been reported that as many as 2000 young British tourists can now be found in Malia during the summer months. They are mostly teenagers straight out of school. They are unaware of Greek traditions and patterns of behaviour. I think we need to do more here in Britain to educate them about how crazy you should be when on holiday in a foreign country and where you should draw the line. Local doctors report frequent cases of injuries that these young people have suffered after drinking too much. And there is a big responsibility too on the tour operators who should think more carefully about the message they send out about these resorts.

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