UK stag parties fall out of favour in Riga
Britons on stag parties to the Latvian capital of Riga will not be welcomed with open arms, according to the mayor of the city.
The city break destination has run out of patience with unruly British tourists who head to the city for boozy breaks, putting off other potential visitors, city mayor Nils Usakovs told a Latvian magazine.
Riga is one of a handful of central and eastern European cities popular with stag parties, including Budapest, Prague, Bratislava and Tallinn.
But rowdy parties in search of cheap beer are deterring a wider range of visitors as Latvia struggles to fight off a deepening recession.
Mr Usakovs told Rigas Laiks magazine: "The only problem is that we have a large share of those British tourists.
"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."
The biggest complaint is tourists who urinate on central Riga's Freedom Monument, honouring soldiers killed during the Latvian War of Independence, according to the mayor.
Visitors have regularly been arrested and fined for relieving themselves on the 138ft-high monument, or climbing on it naked to pose for pictures.
Last year, the country's then interior minister, Mareks Seglins, hit out at "English pigs" for being a "dirty, hoggish people" after a British tourist was sentenced to spend five days in prison when he was caught urinating on the monument.
President Valdis Zatlers condemned his negative comments.
A spokeswoman for Mr Usakovs said Riga's problems started with the arrival of the first low-budget airlines, according to The Times.
"The British first started to make bachelor parties and the most popular thing was using our monument of liberty as a toilet. We have a stigma about British tourists. They are probably not the ones we want to see," she said.
"We are thinking about making a tourist police who will be located in the old town and will pay more attention to these tourist issues."
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face death penalty
- 2 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 3 Dakota Johnson's 'It's only Isis' Saturday Night Live sketch sparks controversy
- 4 Robert Mugabe eats a zoo for 'obscene' 91st birthday party
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
The 50 Best spas
Thailand tourism video Love En Route criticised for featuring Instagram stalker
The Atlas of Beauty: Photographer travels around the world to capture cultural diversity through stunning portraits of women
Chief executive of Malaysia Airlines: The toughest job in travel?
The 10 Best lightweight luggage
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...
£25000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Partner is required to ...
£12500 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This established Knaresborough ...
£23,000: Beverley James: Do you have a background in hospitality and are you l...