The paper proposes a model explaining how 'problem tourists' emerge at tourism destinations. Problem tourists are incompatible with the accepted dominant status of tourism and emerge from social distance between tourists and hosts, or between different groups of tourists. A case study of long grassers in Darwin, the capital of Australia's Northern Territory, is presented to illustrate the model. Long grassers are popularly understood as Indigenous people from remote communities who camp in public places during their visits to Darwin and engage in anti-social behaviours. Surveys were conducted on travel patterns of long grassers to better understand their behaviours and interactions with the destination. This paper discusses whether conceptualising long grassers as problem tourists might help reveal new management strategies. � 2013 Elsevier Ltd.