RIGA - Owners of Latvia Tours, the country's largest travel agency, have sold their interest to two investors from Germany for 2 million euros, according to reports. The Bizness & Baltija daily wrote this week that the Germany-based couple, Tatjana and David James Verrier, bought out Latvia Tours' from the 13 individual owners, including company director Gundega Zeltina.
"We received a very favorable offer, which all co-owners found attractive," Zeltina told the paper. She declined though to reveal the value of the deal.
"We decided to acquire the firm for various reasons," Tatjana Verrier said.
"Firstly, I know the Latvian tourism business very well. Secondly, I consider it to be a great prospect. After Latvia's accession to the EU, it has become very attractive for foreigners, and due to the increasing well being of the Latvian population trips to foreign countries are becoming increasingly popular," she said.
Tatjana Verrier moved from Latvia to Germany in 1999 and has worked in several tourism agencies, including Latvia Tours, in the mid-1990s.
The agency's new owners said they were not planning any substantial changes in the company's work. They do, however, intend to expand its online services, Tatjana Verrier said.
Latvia Tours was established in 1992. The company's incoming tourism sales rose by 32 percent in the first nine months of this year, reaching 3.2 million lats (4.6 million euros), while sales of outgoing tourism increased by 7 percent to 6.2 million lats.
Zeltina previously told the Baltic News Service that the main reasons for the growth were Latvia's accession to the EU and visa-freedom, as well as good cooperation partners.
Last year Latvia Tours posted 50,000 lats in profit on 3.7 million lats of turnover.