British stags desert Tallinn

  • 2008-03-12
  • By Abdul Turay

Party Time no more: Tallinn has become a center for night life continent wide. Pundits say British and Irish stags like to come to the region because the girls are prettier than in the British Isles.

Tallinn - It was only a year ago that you couldn't move in Tallinn's Old Town without bumping into drunken, badly behaved British men celebrating the end of someone's bachelorhood. According to tourism insiders, stag parties have now stopped coming due to rising prices, difficult travel connections and rising hostility from hotels and bars.
The Estonian Tourism Board told The Baltic Times that the number of stag tours are falling and they expect them to fall further.
"We think stag tours have decreased. You can see it when you go to town," Pirit Kallas of the Estonian Tourism Board said.

"Prices are increasing and during the past year there was no new route from the U.K. The flight from London to Tallinn is already quite full. We don't have any other routes," she said.
An Estonian based company that markets itself as a stag tour operator, "Party in,"  told TBT that the city was not a stag friendly destination and the company was moving out of this type of business.
"It is clear that there isn't the number of stags coming that you saw even a year ago.  The main reason is the cost of local services and the cost and availability of flights," the spokesperson said.
"We don't really sponsor stag parties from the U.K. anymore. We mainly deal with customers from Scandinavia who wants to do more sightseeing," he went on to say.
According to figures from the Office of Statistics, numbers of Brits staying in the whole of Estonia in December 2007 was less than visited Tallinn alone in the previous year. The Office of Statistics admits that they don't have the full picture because they don't keep figures of people coming into the country, only hotel accommodation.

Helen Laurmaa from the Office of Statistics told The Baltic Times that the numbers have dropped even further since these statistics were published
"I can't say why the numbers are falling but they are falling," she said.
The Tourism Board was keen to point out that though they had done nothing to stop stag tours, they didn't want the partiers and they preferred to attract a different type of tourist.
"Of course we don't do anything to encourage stag tours. We are trying to promote tourists who spend more, stay longer, and visit more destinations outside of Tallinn 's [those who] are interested in culture, history, nature and spa tourism," Kallas said.
In recent years there has been a crackdown on stag parties. Many bars and hotels have banned stag parties altogether.

Party in thinks that the attempt to stamp out stag tours has had an impact on the drop in party-goers.
"People who want a classical stag party focus on other destinations," the spokesman said.
James Baddiley of Chilli Sauce, a stag tour operator, based in the U.K. said, however, that stag parties are unlikely to disappear from the region altogether.
"Riga is more popular than Tallinn at the moment. It is easier to get to and it's a bigger city. Also, flights to Tallinn can be expensive," he said.