Brits on Holiday Stage Protest Against Drunk Locals
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A dramatic departure from standard practice saw a group of disgruntled British tourists stage a sit-in at a 5-star Caribbean hotel, claiming "drunk and rowdy" locals had ruined their holiday. About 160 guests at ClubHotel Riu Merengue in the Dominican Republic camped for a day and a half in the hotel's reception area, demanding to be moved to another hotel after an "invasion" of locals who "come on a very cheap all-inclusive package holiday," to the detriment of the overseas guests, according to vacationer Tony Walton, a British sales manager. Walton, 48, organized the sit-in last Thursday after the travel firm that organized the trip—Thomson—told him to pay £1,800 ($2,690) to move to another hotel. "They destroyed everything, ate everything," says Walton. "People were peeing on the sun loungers with people on them." The locals also reportedly cleaned out the buffet and defecated in the pool, shutting it down—creating an atmosphere that was a far cry from the "tropical retreat" promised by the brochure. "I have nothing against Dominicans," says Walton. "These people were not at all representative, they were drunk and rowdy." Eventually, up to 100 people including Walton's group were relocated to another, less swanky hotel and offered £30 ($45) in compensation. Walton says he will continue the fight at home in Doncaster. "I paid a lot of money and I have wasted it," he says of his £12,000 ($17,900) two-week holiday at the hotel. "Thomson have been absolutely useless and Riu [the hotel chain] even worse." The hotel called the vacationers' ordeal an "isolated incident."