“Guiri”: The Offensive Code Word for British Tourists in Spain

“Guiri”: The Offensive Code Word for British Tourists in Spain

...By Roland Peterson for TDPel Media.

British Tourists Receiving Criticism from Locals in Spain

British tourists have a reputation for being disruptive and poorly behaved when travelling abroad. This reputation has been confirmed by a number of European nations, who have expressed their displeasure with British tourists.


Some believe that the behaviour of British tourists is disruptive and undesirable, and that these visitors do not contribute positively to the tourism industry.

One example is Lanzarote, which recently stated that it wants to attract more “high-quality” tourists instead of Brits.

Amsterdam even released a campaign that urged British men aged 18 to 30 to “stay away” from the city. While Spain is a popular destination for Brits seeking cheap sunshine, alcohol, and sea, locals are not fond of them.

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The Sun reports that the locals have even created an ‘offensive’ code word to refer to British tourists: “guiri.” The term comes from ‘giri,’ which means blonde or fair-skinned.

This is an accurate description of many British tourists, who are often paler than their Spanish counterparts and are prone to sunburn.

However, the term is not exclusively used to refer to British nationals. Any tourist who is behaving poorly can be called a “guiri,” regardless of their nationality.


This includes individuals who drink excessively, act anti-socially, or participate in overly-touristy activities such as drinking sangria and ordering gimmicky food.

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Spain has implemented various restrictions on tourists in recent years in an effort to improve their behavior. For example, Barcelona and Majorca have imposed fines of up to €300 (£253) for topless men and women in bikinis who are seen walking away from the beach.

The Balearics government has also introduced a rule that limits all-inclusive drinks to six per day in certain resorts. Additionally, Barcelona has made its ten beaches smoke-free, and rule-breakers face fines of up to €30 (£25).


The behavior of British tourists has been a contentious issue for many years, with locals often voicing their displeasure at their actions. While not all British tourists behave poorly, there are enough who do to create a negative impression.

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The term “guiri” is an interesting development, as it shows that the locals have a name for these disruptive tourists. It also illustrates how the behavior of one group can affect how others are perceived.

The restrictions that Spain has implemented are understandable given the negative impact that tourism can have on local communities. However, it remains to be seen whether these measures will be effective in improving the behavior of tourists.

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