The Disrespectful Tourist Headlines Are Getting Out of Control

And it begs the question: do these smooth-brained people even deserve to travel?

August 15, 2023 2:00 pm
Tourists at Trevi fountain on August 12, 2006 in Rome,Italy
Tourists dipping their smelly feet in the Trevi Fountain in 2006
Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

It’s becoming a headline that’s showing up way too often in our newsfeeds: some idiot tourist does something disrespectful during a trip, and, oftentimes, acts like they didn’t know any better. Remember Ivan Dimitrov, the dummy who carved his name into the Colosseum? Supposedly, he was unaware of the arena’s age when he did it. Or how about the dunces who scratched their names into prehistoric art at Big Bend? (It seems like they haven’t been found, unfortunately.) And even if these tourists aren’t causing irrefutable damage to a priceless piece of history, they might still be getting rowdy enough that they’re actually drowning in one of the world’s most famous canals. Obviously they are too dead to know what they’ve done wrong, which is quite sad. Now, a brainless tourist scaled the Trevi Fountain in Rome to fill her water bottle, which seems like a prank until you watch the video of her doing it in a most nonchalant manner.

Tourist Lex Jones, who was visiting the 18th-century fountain at the time of the mischief, caught the whole thing on video. “There were signs all over saying that’s not allowed,” Jones shared alongside the video, according to ABC News. “I was just like, ‘wow, this is crazy,’ so I started videoing it.”

The video shows this wild person wading through the water to the fountain’s back rocks before she climbs up and fills her water bottle from the fountain. Then she casually walks back to the edge, as if this is something people do every day. Jones noted that the woman was “promptly” escorted away by security after she tried to explain why she did what she did. “[She] didn’t really understand why she was in trouble,” Jones said.

According to Reddit, These Are the 13 Worst Tourist Types
These folks traipse through local communities, annoying (and sometimes endangering) everyone in sight

It’s unfathomable to me that tourists have the balls to do things like this. When I travel, I try extra hard to be respectful of the language, customs and monuments of a place (and a lot of Americans are also trying, it seems) because I realize it’s a privilege to be a tourist. But many people aren’t as courteous, and whether it’s for kicks or clicks, they seem to have very little regard for other cultures and very little remorse for their bad behavior.

Should these types of dinguses even be allowed to travel? Some might argue that traveling expands the worldview and makes us more aware of people and places that are foreign to us. But it’s also these types of smooth-brained folks that are ruining travel for everyone, overcrowding popular destinations, seemingly none the more thankful or the wiser for experiencing them. 

Yes, saying all of these feels like screaming into the abyss, simply because the people who will continue to deface and disrespect are too stupid to realize they’re the problem. I can only hope that the repercussions become more severe so it might finally discourage the bad behavior. 


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