How crazy tourists drive embassies mad — and bankrupt their fami
AUSTRALIAN tourists are inundating our embassies with ridiculous, impossible and downright weird requests.
In a recent speech to an Australian Society of Travel Writers conference in Bangkok, First Secretary and Consul in the Australian Embassy in Thailand Anita Downey had the audience roaring with laughter — and sombrely reflecting on the value of travel insurance as she outlined life dealing with tourists.
Ms Downey said the federal government’s smartraveller.gov.au website is a great resource and 400,000 people looked at the Thailand section last year, but only for an average of two minutes at a time.
“A lot of people don’t understand what we do,” Ms Downey said.
“Recent questions include the email from a woman asking: ‘Can you check where Marjorie is?’ — that was it, Marjorie. The woman was worried because she had not heard from her.
“One said: ‘My hotel is noisy, can you please call them and complain’.
“My personal favourite was a gentleman who had a lady friend with him and they had spent the previous night together but he had run out of money so could we pay her on his behalf? I’m sure as Australian taxpayers you will be pleased to learn the answer was ‘no’. He had to make his own arrangements.”
Funny anecdotes aside, Ms Downey outlined the serious work consular officials do, and how Aussies can save themselves heartache with a little common sense.
She stressed proper travel insurance, which covers pre-existing conditions and is not made void by alcohol, drugs, or risky behaviour such as riding a motorbike without a helmet, is essential.
“We spend a lot of our help families, explaining to th to pay for hospital care if th travel insurance — and a lo have no money,” she said.
“If you can’t pay you ge you have travel insurance y tastic level of care.
“In the intensive care un these hospitals you are look $10,000 a night.”