Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Latvians Standing Up To Hooligans

RIGA, Latvia (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – The Latvian travel industry is fed up with visiting roustabouts and is telling “Weekend Hooligans” from the UK, Ireland and other neighboring countries to do their partying elsewhere.

Michael Johnson, the general manager of the Patricia Tourist Office, a hotel reservation service based in Latvia, is one of the first in the travel industry to step forward and say no to tourists holding their stag parties in Latvia.

The American-born Johnson – who now lives in Latvia’s capital city, Riga – says the problem is visitors who binge drink and then turn belligerent.

Johnson had one group of Irish businessmen who did 11,000 euros worth of damage to one hotel and another group of British police officers whose fistfights bloodied up one condominium room and frightened other guests.

As a result, he’s decided to rescind a deal to allow stag parties and is refusing services to groups of three or more single men.

So far, Johnson’s new policy is getting the ire up of one critic in Ireland who e-mailed him and threatened, “Watch out who you are calling a hooligan.”

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