Advice Directory - Street Touts

If there is one group of workers that feels the most persecuted it is the 'Street Tout'. Everyone complains about street touts at some time or another, with the favourite subject of complaints being 'Timeshare/Holiday Club "its not timeshare" Touts'. This much maligned species is often misunderstood by visitors. Being paid on 'commission only' (typically 60 per couple visiting a resort) they are simply trying to scratch a living in the sun (if 1000 a week tax free is 'scratching'). At the other end of the scale are the 'pullers' who stand outside the bar/club/restaurant trying to encourage punters into the premises. In the middle ground are the 'boat trip sellers', 'nookie nookie' men and 'psst psst want to buy a Rolex?' informal street vendors.

All of these are part of the rich tapestry of life which you encounter in holiday resorts. If you wonder why there are so many street touts it is because THIS METHOD OF SELLING WORKS. If people touted onto timeshare-resorts/holiday club presentations didn't sign away thousands of pounds buying a timeshare/membership the industry would have to look at another method of marketing the product, so the reason there are timeshare touts is because there are timeshare owners! Similarly a good 'puller' can transform the economy of a bar (unsuccessful bar owners please note!).

Dealing with 'Street Touts'

If you feel that Street Touts will spoil your holiday then avoid Abington Street in Northampton town centre; and we are not joking. People moan about touts abroad but when you look round Britain is full of them. There are two approaches; choose a destination where there are no touts (try La Gomera or La Palma) or change your approach to touts. Remember that touts are human (I know it is difficult to believe at times) and while they are trying to earn a living they also can be most helpful. The worst thing to do is to look like you might succumb to a tout's pitch, and the worst response to a timeshare tout is "I've already got one" (see Timeshare). One way of deflecting touts when they pounce on you is to say you are not interested, but ask them a question "Can you recommend a good restaurant?" "Have you been up Mount Teide?". With most human touts you can have an interesting conversation and walk away unharmed by the experience. It is well known that new arrivals are most vulnerable to buying a timeshare; touts home in on white, badly dressed people who look a bit lost. Dress smartly, look confident and carry a clipboard/hand wallet/briefcase and you might be mistaken for a local resident. One line you can use is "The last thing I want to do on my day off is go back onto a resort.", though this can lead you into a lively discussion of spiffs and payments by the company you supposedly work for.

Take consolation that if the touts weren't working abroad they would be back in Britain and other nationalities are getting a harder time (French, Italians, Germans and Russians all have their own brand of timeshare touts who are much more pushy than the English). If you think touts only operate in holiday resorts try walking down Abingdon Street in Northampton town centre where women of 'a certain age' tout for timeshare, insurance, catalogue shopping etc etc.

If you want to escape from 'Street Touts' click another Advice topic Directory. Timeshare. Choosing Where. Choosing When. Accommodation.

To escape from 'Street Touts' back to Discovery Walking Guides click Home Page. Titles. DWG sitemap