New ordinances passed in cities that are popular tourist spots are
targeting what locals say is travellers' bad behaviour and inappropriate
The rules are prompting renewed discussions of responsible tourism
among industry professionals and what it means to be a "good tourist."
Wearing bikinis and going shirtless may be fine when sunbathing at
the beach, but it's a no-no when walking the streets of Sorrento, Italy,
and could cost offenders.
Mayor Massimo Coppola signed an ordinance on 6 July prohibiting
people from appearing in public bare-chested or in revealing swimwear
with fines as high as €500 (US$511).
"No more indecent behaviour," Coppola said in a Facebook post about
the ordinance. "Sorrento is increasingly recognized in the world as the
capital of tourism and high-quality hospitality, and these behaviors can
cause an element of discomfort for Sorrento and for residents and
In Spain, "antisocial" tourist behaviour is top of mind for business
owners and residents of popular party town Playa de Palma, where the
hospitality industry has taken matters into its own hands.
Eleven restaurants imposed a dress code in June banning customers
wearing football jerseys or going shirtless. Palma Beach, an association
of hotel and restaurants in Playa de Palma, has been vocal about the
openly drunken behaviour of tourists.
The Balearic Islands government passed a decree in 2020 banning
"tourism of excesses," prohibiting disorderly tourist behavior such as
taking drinks outside of hotels, and "balconing" — jumping into pools
from balconies or climbing from one balcony to the next.
Adding to the ire is that two years of the pandemic meant that
popular destinations typically overrun with tourists did not have to
deal with the usual problems associated with their presence. Now that
tourists have returned in full force, their behaviour and appearance is
Operators weigh in
While the new rules are aimed at individual tourists who are rarely
part of organised tours, companies that offer tours in those areas agree
that the manner in which one dresses and behaves is part of responsible
"When traveling to another destination whether domestic or abroad,
it's important to make sure we're respecting those who call the
destination home," said Melissa DaSilva, president of TTC Tour Brands.
Jeff Roy, executive vice president of Collette, said that "As we're
out on the road designing a new tour or evaluating our existing range of
products, we always consider whether the travel experience we offer is a
Intrepid Travel, long an advocate of sustainable tourism, even has a
page on its website that offers tips on being a responsible traveler —
"These places existed well before tourism was a major factor, and how
they perceive visitors interact with the locals is going to be the
deciding factor if they will continue welcoming travelers or not," said
Matt Berna, president of Intrepid Travel North America. "For a lot of
smaller destinations, money is not everything."
Source: Travel Weekly