'Tourists touch the food before they buy it'

The Local
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'Tourists touch the food before they buy it'
Photo: Zug Tourismus

Crossing the street too slowly and touching food before buying it: these are just two of the complaints about tourists raised by a local politician in the Swiss city of Zug.


With its picturesque old town and lakeside setting, wealthy Zug is slowly growing in popularity as a destination for Asian tour groups travelling by bus.

While numbers are tiny compared to cities plagued by mass tourism such as Venice and Barcelona – around eight buses a day brought around 240 people a day to Zug last summer – it seems the visitors are not welcomed by everyone.

At a recent local town council meeting, Stefan Moos with the Free Democratic Party said it had come to the party’s attention that “the behaviour of certain groups was causing complaints and unease”, Spanish news site 20 minutes reported.

Read also: Report reveals tourists' favourite Swiss spots

“Tourists hold up traffic by taking photos on the street,” said Moos, adding that there had also been complaints about visitors using zebra crossings too slowly.

The politician then said there had been issues with “tourists touching food without buying it” at a small local branch of Swiss supermarket giant Migros.


A spokesperson for the supermarket chain responded by saying similar issues had been noted in Lucerne, also popular with large tourist groups.

“We’ve noticed that Asian groups in particular have different shopping habits,” said the spokesperson, adding it was difficult for smaller Migros stores to deal with large tour groups, but that the company tried to help tourists by helping them find what they were looking for and explaining they shouldn’t touch the food before purchasing it.

Then there is the toilet issue. According to Moser, the busloads of tourists visiting Zug aren’t restricting themselves to using the public facilities available at the coach carpark but are also making use of toilets at local businesses.

Last year, there was bad blood after tour guides sent tourists to use the public toilets and the free lakeside Seeliken baths.

Tourists then photographed the “native Swiss” in their natural habitat according to pool staff, who also noted that many of their guests were actually expats.

Zug councillor Moos now wants to know if the rumours about bad tourist behaviour have any basis and what the city can do to improve relations between residents and visitors.



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