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    Tough Times for Brits Abroad

    I'm not typically patriotic - I know that the UK is far from perfect, and that British people have their faults - but a couple of stories in today's news have summoned up some strong feelings in defence of our rainy little island.The first, featured in the Travel Mail describes the plight of a Sussex couple who took their children on an all-inclusive holiday to Crete, Greece, only to find on arrival that the majority of facilities were reserved for German residents only. Sun beds, swings, pool buoyancy aids and even toilets were out of bounds to Brits. The tour operator, Thomas Cook, said that the 'segregation' was fair, as there were many more Germans at the resort. I thought this kind of discrimination was made illegal decades ago.

    Whatever happened to first come, first served? Crete does attract a lot of German tourists, and naturally wants to keep their business, but this is outrageous behaviour. We wouldn't stand for it if guests were discriminated against because of the colour of their skin, so why should it be deemed any less wrong if the segregation is based on nationality?The second story, in the Travel Daily newsletter, reports on the results of a poll conducted by lastminute.com. When people from France, Italy, Spain, The UK and Germany were quizzed about holiday habits and perceptions, the results showed that Brits are considered the least attractive, worst dressed and heaviest drinkers on the beach. This isn't really surprising to hear. British tourists do have a bad reputation in Europe, and we know that our behaviour could be better. In fact, the poll also revealed that 78% of Brits actually agree with the allegations.

    One statistic did stand out as being very unfair though. Apparently one in three Spaniards think Britain is also the rudest nation. OK, so we might not have the best bikini bodies, and socks with sandals aren't a great fashion statement, but we do know what good manners are, and our queuing etiquette is second to none. Europe is full of different cultures and customs and perhaps we'd increase our ranking in the popularity league table if we tried a bit harder to fit in. But we don't deserve to be seaside outcasts. Just as John Bevan, Lastminute.com Manager Director, states, we do have some of the best top models and fashion designers in the world!

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