RIGA - The Economics Ministry intends to turn increased attention in following years to attracting tourists from China, the UK, and the US, the ministry's assistant state secretary Raimonds Aleksejevs said at the opening of Balttour 2017 tourism industry fair in Riga today.
The representative of the Economics Ministry pointed out that most of the foreign tourists visiting Latvia come from four traditional markets - Russia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Germany. This has made Latvia quite dependent on these markets, which is why it has been decided to explore new markets this year, using the Latvian Investment and Development Agency's service network. "There is a plan to focus much more on markets like China, Great Britain, and the United States," said Aleksejenko.
He indicated that from the tourists' perspective, the destination country has been easy to reach and with developed infrastructure. In addition to convenient travel arrangements, tourists also look for unique experiences. They also expect to receive new services, such as sharing economy.
This year, the ministry plans work on new services that will be developed to provide the unique experience to tourists, Aleksejenko said. Work will also continue to provide direct commercial flights from China to Latvia.
It is no less important to develop business tourism, as entrepreneurs who arrive in Latvia for conferences also want to see something more than just the official event. The ministry, therefore, plans to promote cooperation among tourism services providers so that they can offer the unique experience to their clients.
Aleksejenko noted that Balttour participants have introduced nearly 1.6 million people to Latvia and that the tourism industry's goal is to increase this figure to at least two million in the coming years.
The Latvian Association of Travel Agents and Operators (ALTA) organizes Balttour 2017 and its business forum in association with International Exhibition Company BT 1.