By Humphrey Carter

THE British government's Foreign and Commonwealth Office yesterday published its British Behaviour Abroad report and Spain is the top trouble hotspot.
The report confirms that a minority of British holiday makers continue to earn the country a bad name overseas and the FCO would like to see considerably more British travellers consult its Know Before You Go service so they are better prepared.

The document, which releases incident figures for the first time, highlights the key problems that Britons experience in the most popular destinations and also suggests that 24 percent of people coming abroad on stag and hen parties face problems.

According to the most accurate figures available, the period April 04–March 05 saw 1'663 Britons arrested in Spain, 1'370 lose their passports in the USA and 841 hospitalised in Greece.

Spain has the highest number of reported lost or stolen passports per year (4'774 in this period), Spain also had the highest number of arrests in this period with 1'663 and in this period, Spain had the highest number of hospitalisations, with 1'137 UK citizens being admitted to hospital. As the graphic shows, the British Embassy and consulates across Spain had to deal with a total 5'627 serious assistance cases.

Granted, a large number of Britons do come to Spain each year but in France, which attracts only three million less British holiday makers, the incident figures are far smaller.

Foreign & Commonwealth Office Minister, Meg Munn, said: “One of the most important tasks for the Foreign Office is our work to help British nationals in distress overseas. As this report shows, although some of the incidents people face are unavoidable, many can be prevented with a little planning and careful preparation. “Simple precautions like researching your destination, getting comprehensive travel insurance, checking out medical requirements and taking copies of important documents could help avoid common travelling traumas, risks and dangers in the long-run.” In the future, drunken Britons on stag and hen parties may be charged by the Foreign Office for causing unnecessary problems while abroad.
Over the weekend, there were a number of incidents involving drunken British tourists in Magalluf and Channel 5 news is on the island following up on the findings of FCO report.


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