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U.K. crackdown on wild bachelor parties abroad

The Foreign Office is planning to crack down on the “appalling” behavior of some British bachelor party tourists abroad, according to a report Thursday.
/ Source: Reuters

The Foreign Office is planning to crack down on the “appalling” behavior of some British bachelor party tourists abroad, according to a report on Thursday.

It plans to increase the number of cases in which it levies a charge for helping out when things go wrong.

The Foreign Office (FCO), which provides travel advice and support to U.K. residents abroad, charged for its services in just 323 out of 84,000 assisted cases in 2004-05, according to the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee report.

“FCO consular staff increasingly have to deal with the appalling results of British tourists carousing abroad,” said committee chairman, Edward Leigh.

“Where our nationals have landed themselves in trouble as a result of their own irresponsibility, the FCO should not hesitate to charge them for its services,” he added.

Cheap flights to blame?
The number of overseas visits by Britons increased by six percent to 65 million in 2004-2005, with a further 13 million living abroad, the report said.

It blamed an increase in anti-social behavior on holiday on the growing number of no-frills airlines offering cheap flights.

Committee member Kitty Ussher said, “If low prices open the market to more individuals and groups who are often looking to celebrate, then it is inevitable that there is going to be an increase of anti-social behavior on the continent.”

Bachelor and bachelorette parties, many of which are held abroad, were cited as a growing problem.

“It would certainly concentrate the minds of people in stag (bachelor) parties if they thought they were going to be charged ... for getting lost and having to be rescued by the consulate,” said committee member, Ian Davidson.