In response to the article on Quality Labeling, these organizations and the authorities simply don't get it, do they?
They think that introducing 'tourist friendly' restaurants, hotels, etc. is going to solve the problem of the terrible reputation Riga/Latvia has as a 'place to be ripped off.' That's akin to saying to visitors 'hey, we have a problem, but you'll be OK if you only visit or use these places or services.'
Surely it's better to tackle the problem so visitors would automatically feel safe. When will they wake up and realize they have to deal with the situation, by most importantly admitting that there is a real problem with tourists for Latvia. This has been going on for years and nobody has actually admitted it is really here, only maybe just recently i.e. the Mayoral tour of Old Riga.
They know these places are all about ripping people off; why can't they simply close them down, they have enough evidence. Seems to me more of a publicity stunt for self-interest.
Why is that many countries have put Latvia on a blacklist of tourist destinations over the past few years, Great Britain, Ireland, Finland, America to name just a few - read the relevant Embassy Web sites! Tourism is down by over 30 percent; as a Capital City tourist destination, Riga, is way down in comparison to other similar cities!!
On another similar vane have you ever noticed how many Lithuanian and Estonian cars are stopped by the police, at the airport, in Jurmala? I have heard many stories from these countries as well, mostly directed towards the police!
On the plus side it was very nice to read [airBaltic President] Bertolt Flick's and Janis Naglis' press release for their new Baltic Taxi venture, stating that they are fed up with the government doing nothing about the situation; I hope they put ALL the other taxi companies out of business, [as it] seems they are already worried about the first night attack [of] a Baltic Taxi in the Old Town!
I have been living here for more than 10 years and taxi drivers will still try to rip me off, even when using my best Latvian; they must be able to smell a chance to take an extra buck.
To Bertolt and Janis, I say all the best to you.