Published On: Tue, Apr 9th, 2024

‘Telltale sign of a tourist trap’ in popular beach resorts | Travel News | Travel


Most holidaymakers will have experienced walking along the promenade of a bustling resort only to be met with shop owners and restaurant workers eagerly trying to get them inside. While this may seem fairly harmless, according to a deals and money-saving expert, it could actually be the first “red flag” to look out for when trying to avoid a “tourist trap”.

Jason Higgs, the senior deals strategist at Bountii, explained that many trap businesses employ “pushy tactics” that could worsen once you’re inside the establishment.

“From creating a sense of urgency to using manipulative sales techniques, these tactics aim to exploit visitors’ vulnerability and maximise profits for the vendors,” said Jason. If you do venture inside of a tourist vendor, such as a souvenir shop or popular beachfront restaurant, Jason also urges travellers they must always look out for one key thing.

“Another red flag to watch out for is the absence of clear pricing information,” he said. Keep an eye out for prices and make sure you aren’t being mislead over how much goods or services cost.

“In tourist traps, vendors may not display prices prominently or may provide misleading information about the cost of goods or services,” explained the expert.

“Without transparent pricing, travellers may end up paying more than they bargained for.”

He added: “One of the telltale signs of a tourist trap is encountering aggressive salespeople who employ high-pressure tactics to persuade travellers to make purchases. Whether it’s offering souvenirs, tours, or other services, these salespeople often target tourists in crowded areas and resorts.”

However, there are some simple ways to make sure you don’t leave your holiday more out of pocket than originally planned.

Before your trip, establish a realistic budget for accommodations, activities, dining, and souvenirs. By setting limits on your spending and sticking to your budget, you can avoid overspending and mitigate the risk of falling victim to tourist traps.

Jason also notes that it is important to prioritise value over convenience. He said: “While convenience is important, prioritise value when making purchasing decisions during your trip. Avoid succumbing to impulse buys or overpriced tourist attractions by carefully evaluating the quality and cost-effectiveness of each experience.”

And if in doubt – trust your gut. “If something seems too good to be true or raises suspicions, trust your instincts and proceed with caution,” said Jason. “Don’t be afraid to walk away from aggressive salespeople or establishments that lack price transparency, as it’s better to err on the side of caution than to regret an impulsive purchase later.

“In an age of mass tourism and commercialisation, the allure of authentic travel experiences has never been more important.”



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