Report on "British Behavior Abroad" shows Brits lose all inhibitions while on holiday

Young Britons often lose their inhibitions about drinking and bad behavior when they go abroad. The British government this month released a report on “British Behavior Abroad,” covering the period from April 2005 to March 2006 as part of a “Know Before You Go” campaign promoting responsible tourism.  The report lists incidents from British Foreign Office records. Although Krakow has experienced a massive influx of UK “stag and hen parties,” Poland was not on the list of top 10 countries where British nationals required the most consular assistance. According to the data, the Czech Republic and its capital of Prague are the hot spots for British travelers in trouble. More Britons lose passports because of drunkenness and other arrests – and also are hospitalized – in the Czech Republic than in some of the more popular places in the world. The stag and hen parties in Eastern or Central Europe create many of the behavior problems. Stag weekend packages – including flights, a few nights in a hotel and a pub crawl capped by a visit to a strip club – can cost about 200 pounds. The British and Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) says 24 percent of the people on stag and hen parties have encountered or created problems abroad. The Yorkshire Post, a daily newspaper published in Leeds, England, commented on the stag and hen party problem: “This affects ordinary English people when they go to these places now, because everyone is tarred with the same brush. Restaurant and hotel owners are on edge; they all want to know if you’re with a group or not. There’s no doubt it’s giving us a bad name.” According to the Foreign Office report, the period April 2005-March 2006 saw 1,368 Britons arrested in the U.S., 955 hospitalized in Greece, 376 British citizens die in France and 6,078 lose their passports in Spain. The British Embassy in Warsaw reported that the period April 2006-March 2007 saw 455,000 British visitors to Poland. Of those, 50 Brits were detained, eight hospitalized and 97 reported lost or stolen passports.  Last year, almost 2.5 mln foreign tourists visited Krakow, and 17 percent of them, or 425,000, came from Great Britain. In July of this year, the British Embassy in Poland released a leaflet “Welcome to Poland” containing hints to help British tourists have an enjoyable and trouble-free visit. About 35,000 copies of this leaflet are being distributed around Poland with the help of local government, tourist agencies, airlines, hotels and bars. British Consul Paul Fox said that it was important to get a firm but balanced message out to British tourists: “With over 300 flights a week between UK and Poland, there has been an influx of British tourists. The vast majority of visits to Poland are trouble free, but we can always do better particularly with stag and hen parties. All British tourists should check out the local laws and customs of Poland. What might be perfectly appropriate behavior or dress in one country might be completely different in another.”

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