KRAKOW SICK OF DRUNKEN BRITS SEEKS HOMOSEXUAL TOURISTS INSTEAD
'I don't know which is worse!' said Piotr Kucharski, spokesman for the Christian Culture Association In the Name of Father Piotr Skarga, which has initiated an email protest campaign and a demonstration in Krakow against the new policy. He added: 'Drunken Britons may get their genitals out in public. But we don't want gays performing public obscenities either.'
"...Magdalena Sroka, who heads the Krakow Festival Office...confirmed that plans to advertise the city to a gay clientele were in progress.
'We're planning to broaden our offer to include the gay and lesbian target group. In the autumn we'll be launching a special online section on gay tourism,' she had earlier told gay news website Innastrona.
Izabela Helbin, from the city's marketing and promotion office, told the daily Gazeta Wyborcza: 'Research shows that gays and lesbians spend significantly more on holidays and entertainment than tourists travelling with family or friends. We plan to make money on this.'
Club, pub and hotel owners are all for extending a special welcome to gay tourists. 'Jesus, yes!' said Thomas Naughton, owner of Irish bar Nic Nowego (Nothing New). 'Gay tourists behave a lot better - and they have more money. We were the first place in Krakow to put up signs saying "No Stag nights".'
With its cobbled streets and baroque architecture, Krakow is one of Europe's cultural jewels which receives nine million tourists annually.
In the euphoria of EU entry in 2004, Krakow welcomed boozy Brits arriving on cheap flights, but recent years have seen rising resentment against stag-night boozers who blight the cultural capital.
'They like to come in wearing suspenders and shout their songs in their own language all across the bar,' said barmaid Kasia Krol, at Nic Nowego.
'They hassle waitresses about sex and brothels. One stripped off in front of all the other guests. They've started drinking out of their shoes, which they think is really funny. They drop ash and spill beer and vomit, and then they go off to brothels.'"
"And Krakow's taxi drivers are fed up. 'They pack themselves into the car, vomit out of the windows, and run off without paying,' said one driver, named Tomasz.
Even so, members of the Catholic right insist that they have no wish to see gay tourists instead.
'We respect people, their autonomy and personal choices. However, we do not support the promotion of perverse behaviour,' said Agata Tatara, Krakow city councillor and member of the conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party.