Brits abroad, little incentive for Riga

Mayor of Riga, Nils Usakovs, says British travellers are badly behaved and damaging the city’s image.

The Latvia capital, along with other East European destinations with cheap flights, beer and hotels, is blighted, it seems by British stag and incentive parties running riot.

Usakovs decision to set a special new tourist police force on the problem comes days after a travel company survey found European hoteliers regarded their British guests as the worst-behaved of all.

It seems the recession means Riga cannot be too choosy and Usakovs is blunt in a recent magazine interview: “If we also had other tourists, then British visitors who piss about all the time would not be as noticeable. Let’s not be politically correct. Unfortunately, this is their speciality.”

Many companies are now specialising in organising stag weekends in the Baltics and a spokesman for Riga, Party Weekends, says his company does not promote bad behaviour: “Riga is stag-friendly. There is so much available for large groups, loads to do”.

The annual British Behaviour Abroad report, a study of 15 popular destinations, shows arrests of Britons rising by 16 per cent on last year.

Foreign Office warnings are now appearing on beer mats and posters in resorts with slogans such as: ‘don’t get lairy with locals’ and “don’t let a drunken stunt ruin you stay”.

Fifteen per cent of respondents to a recent poll on the Skyscanner site said claim ‘moody/stroppy companions’ are the reason for their bad travel experience.

Paul Colston

Author

Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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