OPERATORS have accused Faliraki authorities of refusing to talk to them
despite trying to clarify the legality of bar crawls and tourist behaviour.
Tour operators are furious
that authorities, including the mayor’s office, have shunned their attempts to
clear up the confusion over offering bar crawls following increased police
activity after the death of a British tourist two weeks ago.
All operators have suspended bar crawls after five reps – three of whom
worked for Club 18-30 – were arrested for organising illegal crawls.
However, all charges were dropped.
Club 18-30 overseas director Paul Little said his reps in Faliraki
claimed the mayor’s office refused to talk to a Federation of Tour Operators’
official the day the first two reps – from Olympic Holidays and 2wentys – were
arrested for organising bar crawls. Instead the FTO official was told to call
back the next day – a bank holiday in Greece.
Little said: “There are no straight answers from the authorities despite
repeated requests – no communication on excursions or bar crawls.”
Frustration is also growing with the Greek National
Tourist Office for failing to set a date to meet the FTO, operators and local
authorities. FTO director-general Andy Cooper said: “There has not been as much
communication as I would have liked – we need to talk to the Greeks.”
However, Faliraki police chief Themis Kalamatas told
Travel Weekly operators were informed what behaviour would not be acceptable at
the start of the summer.
He said authorities decided to crack down on
unacceptable behaviour after seeing an increase in recent years. But August has
seen the worst yet, he said.
Meanwhile, a top Blackpool police officer is heading
to Faliraki to advise officers there how to handle drunken holidaymakers. Measures
introduced by Supt Andy Rhodes has helped transform the English seaside resort
in recent months.
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