I thought I finally escaped being harassed by people trying to sell either souvenirs or tours to me on the street until today at Cambridge.
In Belfast and Dublin there was someone selling the city tours just about every block you went. It was as if you couldn’t walk more than three feet without seeing some strange man in a red jacket offering you tickets. This was a common theme throughout a good majority of the cities we have traveled to. Understandably so; after all, they are making their money off of tourists like us.
But I swear, I don’t know what I was going to do if I was offered one more selfie stick or laser at the Eiffel Tower. This was probably the place where this issue was the worst. There were men surrounding us trying to offer champagne, wine, keychains, selfie sticks, lasers and just about anything else you could think of.
Cambridge was covered with these type of people trying to sell tickets to tourists for punting. In my opinion, these people clutter the already busy streets and harass tourists as they attempt to walk. Later we found out that the university is trying to ban these people from selling punting tickets throughout the city. This is understandable since they are almost as frequent as the tour guides in Dublin.
Relating this back to the United States, I have come to understand that Europe really capitalizes on its strong tourist population. In the States it seems like we have some of the same options as they do here in Europe but we do not push it as much. If you walk down Michigan Avenue in Chicago you’re going to see tour busses, but nothing like what you see here.