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Town braces for boozed-up Brit invasion

Alex Dunham · 26 Mar 2013, 13:03

Published: 26 Mar 2013 13:03 GMT+01:00

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Hoards of pleasure-seeking university students from England, Scotland and Wales will reach Spanish shores this weekend to take part in the 13th edition of Saloufest. 
Organizers of the I Love Tour sell the event as a sports-driven occasion; but for the majority of the Brits taking part it's an excuse to binge drink, hook up with members of the opposite sex and dress up in ridiculous costumes.
Hotel, restaurant and bar owners are rubbing their hands with glee at the thought of 10,000 boozed-up Brits splashing out on whatever spirit they can get their hands on.
The Costa Dorada's tourism board has estimated the event will bring 1,500 temporary jobs and €10 million to the Catalan town.
But many locals have grown tired of the mob's yobbish behaviour and are concerned the image of the town is being tarnished by their antics.
"We've been putting up with them for more than ten years now," one local told national radio Cadena Ser.  "They keep us up with all their noise, and have sex on the beach: it's unbearable."
The event's dubious reputation sunk even lower in 2010 when a British girl told police she had been raped during the alcohol-fuelled celebrations.
Story continues below…
The incident led Josep Huguet, who used to work in Catalonia's tourism department, to threaten to take away Salou's family destination stamp.
But with Salou's economy receiving a much needed cash injection for its tourism sector to survive,  there 's still no sign of Spain's messiest festival coming to an end.
As one shop owner put it: "It brings the holiday season forward three months." 

Alex Dunham (alex.dunham@thelocal.com)

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