Complaints against touts in Crete
We call touts the men and women standing outside the bar or restaurants they work in, inviting and encouraging the by-passers to choose their outlet for their meal or drink. Unfortunately this “invitation” is made in a rather annoying and oppressing way.
The police has been trying for some time to solve the problem, but the owners of bars and restaurants have found the solution; they made sure that touts are standing within the limits of their bar or restaurant, therefore they do not breach any law this way.
According to an article published recently in one of the local newspapers in Chania, the phenomenon is actually spreading and becoming even worse at the old harbor in Chania, based on the statistics by the Union for protection of the consumer in Chania.
According to the Union, this ugly phenomenon is not limited to the potential clients and consumers who enjoy a leisurely stroll at the harbor enjoying its natural beauty, but has started affecting the local businessmen as well, as they have started competing with each other; the subject of competition? Who will be using the most touts in the most effective way. They are also pointing the finger at each other on the grounds of illegitimate behavior, producing increasingly more attacking and abusive behaviors.
The Union denotes that numerous residents and visitors have been filing their complaints, being frustrated by the attitude of some of the touts, who even grab them from their sleeves in order to choose their businesses over the others.
This situation blemishes the tourism in Chania and Greece, causing negative comments and impressions. The Union suggests that this is actually a pest for tourism in Chania, overshadowing the beauty of the historical Venetian Harbor in Chania. It also encourages the businessmen to change their attitude and behavior towards the tourists and withdraw the touts, using their employees in more productive ways, especially since touting is prohibited by law. In any case, the touts breach the right of free will and choice of customers, who should be free to choose the business they prefer without any intrusions or influences.
The Union suggests that since hunting for customers is a penal offence, the officials should take some action and protect the consumers.
There are many Greek and foreign tourists who get annoyed by the insisting and oppressive behavior of these touts in cafés and restaurants in Chania. Some tourists denounced the behavior of certain people that suggest them where to go and what to see, even when they first stepped on the island and in the city of Chania.