TOURISTS in Malta have been forced to pay to sunbathe on a popular beach – as rogue sunbed operators refuse to move their seats.
The Blue Lagoon, located on the island of Comino, has a public beach open to both locals and tourists.
However, tourists have said that sunbed operators are telling them they are not allowed to move the seats unless they pay for them.
In a video on social media, a tourist asks one of the operators: “You wouldn’t be able to move one of the chairs for me.”
However, despite most of them being empty, he was told no.
He also asked the owner of the company who was there, who said: “If you hire a deckchair, you can move the umbrella.
“You not hire, you cannot move.”
Many tourists slammed it as “unfair,” claiming they were on the first ferry at 9am but there was still no space by the empty chairs.
According to the Times of Malta, the video has since been viewed a whopping 3.2m times, with many calling it “shameful.”
One person said: “A hogging and money-scrounging incentive is what it is. There is no fairness, there is no consideration.”
Another had their own experience: “I had to move some empty deckchairs slightly just to be able to pass through, when the deckchair operator saw me touching the deckchairs he quickly ran over and started yelling at us that unless we hire from him we shouldn’t touch the deckchairs.”
According to local media, this is against regulation – with chairs only placed on request – although little has been done to stop it.
A “sunbed hogger” recently sparked fury after dumping water bottles and towels to “reserve six loungers” at 7am at a resort on holiday.
And a beach in Bournemouth has stopped renting deckchairs and sun loungers to avoid them being used in brawls by drunken thugs.