‘My town is overrun by tourists who abuse staff and pee in my garden’

The chef patron of a Michelin-starred restaurant has criticised tourists who abuse his staff and then urinate in his garden.

Chef patron of the Old Stamp House, Ambleside, Ryan Blackburn has said the rising number of holiday homes in the area means locals can no longer afford to live in the area.

Speaking to the Telegraph, he said that he doesn’t blame the newcomers, but believes that local landowners and councils have reneged on their obligations.

Despite this, he and others are concerned by the behaviour of tourists who come to the Lake District all year round to experience natural beauty.

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He said: “Look at Cockermouth’s fabulous fishmongers, bakers, cafés and bookshops and all the Michelin stars we have [in the Lakes] now.

“The local authority is really keen to slap tourists with huge parking fines, but not to provide adequate parking spaces.

“Our tourist board is always off in places like China and Japan selling Cumbria as a destination, yet we don’t have the parking, cafés, toilets or transport to deal with the tourists we have already.”

Despite the benefits tourism provides, Mr Blackburn has had to put locks on his Ambleside restaurant bins because his backyard was becoming a tip for tourists.

He added that alongside tourists urinating in his backyard, he also said his young staff “get loads of abuse from people p*****g there”.

Mr Blackburn isn’t the only person to highlight the less hygienic side of tourism spikes.

Ryerson University’s Rachel Dodds, who studies over tourism, said a lack of loos in The Taj Mahal and New York’s Times Square has led to “wild toileting”.

She told the Telegraph: “Decent infrastructure – both its development and maintenance – conserves and protects the very resources that attract visitors in the first place, preventing these resources from becoming polluted and overcrowded.”

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While some parts of the UK are suffering from the effects of over-tourism, some have experienced the opposite.

According to the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) some UK tourist attractions are still suffering from the effects of the pandemic.

In March, they said the reason for this was because fewer tourists from abroad were travelling to the UK.

The hope is that figures from the summer will see an increase in the country’s economy as people travel abroad for their holidays or to escape extreme heat.

According to data released over the summer, UK visitor numbers were up because people were trying to avoid the heatwaves in Europe.

Speaking to the Guardian, Paul Charles of The PC Agency said: “We’re currently seeing plenty of evidence of more US travellers choosing to visit the UK instead of going to Europe for last-minute holidays.

“Hotels and airlines are reporting late bookings from Americans who were destined for southern Europe but who have opted to choose the UK, and Ireland, instead due to the intensity of the heat further south.”

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