Drunken older Brits causing trouble abroad: Foreign Office

March 20th, 2008 - 5:03 pm ICT by admin  

London, March 20 (ANI): British Foreign Office has expressed concern over a rise in the number of older Britons who drink too much on holiday abroad and cause trouble, a behaviour which is generally linked to the younger generation.

Studying the findings of various surveys, the analysts have come to the conclusion that an increasing number of 50-somethings, called “Saga louts”, are over-indulging in alcohol and food and becoming abusive to locals.

Over 1,000 persons were polled for the Know Before You Go campaign on behalf of the Foreign Office.

The findings of the research show that about 20 per cent of Britons over 55 are taking risks abroad that they would never contemplate at home, such as water skiing or riding a moped.

Twenty per cent of the couples surveyed also said that either they or their partners had been injured due to such a risky behaviour.

Sixty-five per cent of older travellers said that they did not take out insurance on their last trip abroad, while 10 per cent admitted that they did not follow the same safety advice they would give to their children.

More than 50 per cent of the older subjects admitted that they drank more alcohol than usual, something that may lead to problems, according to British embassies in popular resorts.

“Most problems that we see with the older generation of Brits arise from over-consumption of alcohol and food. Drinking and staying too long in the sun can make you ill and undertaking strenuous activity like going swimming or snorkelling after a large meal can put you in unnecessary danger - people have drowned this way,” the Telegraph quoted Rania Kossiori, the British vice-consul on the Greek island of Rhodes, as saying.

“After one too many drinks people can become abusive, for example shouting at resort staff. We’ve also had instances where a few too many drinks has led older guests to over-estimate their strength, for example going swimming in bad weather conditions, which has ended in tragedy,” she added.

Meg Munn, a Foreign Office minister, said: “The Foreign Office is all for over-55s having fun on holiday, but it is crucial that they make some simple preparations to help avoid encountering difficulties whilst abroad. Acquiring adequate travel insurance is a must and health scares abroad can be avoided by visiting a GP and having a health check before embarking on a holiday.”

Steve Ashton, of Saga Insurance, said: “It’s a misnomer that only the young can have new experiences on holiday or take part in exciting and often rigorous activities. Just because you’re over 50 does not mean you have to put your surf-board into storage or hang up your salopettes. In fact, the experience of Saga Travel Insurance shows that in many ways older travellers are much more conscientious about ensuring the activities they take part in are within their capability.”

A psychiatrist who coined the term “Saga lout” to describe heavy-drinking pensioners, Dr Peter Rice, said that the typical “Saga lout” acquired a taste for drinking at home as alcohol prices dropped in the Seventies and Eighties. (ANI)

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