When i visited Tallinn last year, i had a great time and thought it was a lovely intimate little town. During my stay, and, for a couple of months after i told friends to visit before Easyjet started ferrying hundreds of stag and hen parties from the UK and ruining the whole atmosphere of the place (this is the reason i won't go to Prague for a weekend). I appreciate the benefits of cheap air travel, just wondered what peoples thoughts were on the down sides of it, or do you think there is a bit of selfishness in my attitude to this subject? (I started this because a colleague told me this morning his friend was going to Tallinn on a Stag party, and remembered my comments from last year). He also said Easyjet were trying to tout it as the 'new' Prague and tap up hen and stag parties.
maybe this goes back to the 'are you a travel snob?' question.
Funny that you brought that up... I was thinking this morning that, with the fall of our domestic "low-fare" airline Jetsgo here in Canada, prices were going to soar. Already, the other airlines have upped some tickets by 40%.
From a Canadian perspective, it costs a tonne to travel just about anywhere - even within Canada itself. So low-fare airlines offer(ed) a way to travel without having to save like mad for months. Cheap air fare essentially turned dreaming about travel into, well, travel.
However, I'm not sure how enticing it will be to travel on the cheap if it turned every popular destination into Disneyland. Stag parties all over Prague? Proms across Amsterdam? A baby shower deluge in Rome? What will happen to the cities themselves?
Ah Dave, you snob!! hehe, just joking!
I can see the issue you have - Prague is at first glance an incredibly attractive city. Spend a few days in the center though and it feels like Disneyland. All the more reason to be a little more intrepid But, I think overall it is a great thing for these cities. Think of the boost in tourism revenue they get; it would be selfish to deny them that I think.
I guess the problem is that these small(ish) cities are easily overrun. Cities like London, Paris or Rome are far more capable of soaking up masses of tourists without losing their charm. If it happens to somewhere like Talinn or Prague though, it looks like all the locals have skipped town!
Cheap airfares are good news for most people; for instance, it's good for the people from Talinn, who now have a cheaper way of attending business meetings in London. It would be unfair to deny them better infrastructure, just so we are reserved a nice 'authentic' view of a town.
Still, I see your point about the downside. I'm afraid the positives outweigh the negatives when tourists discover a 'new' destination though. The notable exception being when they ruin eco-systems.
I find this an interesting topic.