Defiant Brits are rushed to book boozy stag do breaks – in cities that have explicitly told them to 'stay away'.
Last month red light district favourite Amsterdam unveiled a controversial 'Stay Away' campaign to deter British lads aged 18-35 from flooding in.
The move was slammed as 'clearly discriminatory' by livid stag do firms – and the city's prostitutes were fuming too.
UK stag do favourites York and Edinburgh also sounded a warning to Brits on the lash. But we've not just stood by our guns – we're increasing visits.
This is after the Amsterdam campaign targeted stag parties or pub crawls in the city. Sex workers in the area have said they will protest while stag do organisers claim they may take action against the "xenophobic" adverts.
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Other stag do favourites are looking to follow the lead, with the Old Town Association in Edinburgh having called for the city to copy Amsterdam.
However, boozy Brits are having none of it.
Since Amsterdam's campaign first launched, stag do firms have seen a 4306% surge in bookings to the Netherlands' capital. The Stag Company – one of many firms selling packages to groups of stags and hens – saw a 4,000% increase in online interest yesterday, with a 649% rise in quotes leading to a 356% increase in bookings.
As for Edinburgh, stag firm Last Night of Freedom says bookings have shot up by nearly 20% following the call to keep stags away. The same company has also seen a 50% increase to Amsterdam since the campaign made headlines globally last week.
Another city that waged war against partying – York – has seen bookings explode since the MP tried bringing in ‘party zones’. Almost overnight, demand for York leapfrogged the likes of Berlin and Barcelona.
Stag dos are notorious for the booze and wild antics that come with a big night out.
The Daily Star spoke to Jon Stainer, Director of Operations of StagWeb.co.uk who said that they've had plenty of weird and wonderful requests.
However, it was one booking that went wrong which sticks firmly in his mind, involving a mix up with the exotic dancer he’d booked for the festivities.
Jon explained: "Probably the most unusual stag do we’ve ever seen was when a stag group booked a stripper and the stripper turned out to be the groom’s ex-wife.
"The groom didn’t know his ex-wife had taken up stripping and we aren’t in the habit of asking the performers whether there’s a possibility the group they’ll be entertaining will have any of their former partners involved."
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As for his thoughts on Amsterdam's attempts to deter lads from visiting?
He said: "There could be thousands of reasons someone could get kicked out of [cafes, strip clubs or brothels in Amsterdam]. The advice we give to any group going anywhere: have fun, but be respectful.
"In Amsterdam, the local authorities are cracking down on anti-social behaviour and they may be more inclined to impose a fine or even arrest unruly visitors, so don’t give them a reason to.
"Whether you’re going to Amsterdam or Albufeira, Brighton or Bristol – be polite, drink responsibly, and respect the city and its residents."
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