OPERATORS to Faliraki have warned Greek authorities
that plans to ban organised bar crawls could lead to more trouble in the Rhodes
resort.

At a meeting last week with local officials – called
after a 17-year-old British holidaymaker died in a nightclub brawl – operators
said organised crawls are vital to supervising rowdy crowds.

Olympic Holidays head of customer services Kratinos
Pyliotis said: “Bar crawls are the only time customers are under proper
control. I am not convinced by the move but we are guests on the island and
must toe the line, even if we are not ecstatic about it.”

Greek authorities blame the widespread practice of bar
crawls run by operators for the increase in lewd behaviour and crime that has
plagued the resort.

They have already enforced a temporary
ban which led to the arrest of five reps for running crawls. The charges were
later dropped.

However, operators welcomed other proposals put
forward at the meeting, including plans to build a police station in the resort
for next summer.

The main partying areas – Bar Street and Club Street –
could also be closed to traffic to improve safety and operators may be forced
to apply to the mayor’s office for permission to run excursions.

Commenting on the meeting, Club 18-30 overseas
director Paul Little said: “The start of a much-needed constructive dialogue
between operators and local authorities on the island is welcome.

“Progress is pleasing and the proposals tabled are a
positive starting point.”

Meanwhile, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has
written to Club 18-30 voicing concerns about the behaviour of reps in Faliraki.

An FCO spokeswoman said the letter urged the operator
to “respect laws and customs” but was not an official reprimand from the
Government.