The foundation has nominated the principle 'What's good for Riga'sresidents is good for tourists' as the motif for its activities and thenew Riga brand.Ainars Slesers, Riga'sDeputy Mayor, commented 'the development of tourism in Riga requires effective and professionalaction, a completely new approach. I am convinced that the new bureau willdemonstrate that Rigacan be a worthy member of the top cities league and ensure a quantum leap inour city's development. It will be the best city for us, the residents of Riga. Riga does not need a fragmentedtourism-promotion structure. Rigadoes not need one-off advertising campaigns lacking a clear purpose beyondself-promotion.'
"Riga is airBaltic'smost important city. Rigais our home base. We also see a future here, both for us as a company and for Riga as a northernmetropolis. That is why airBaltic is investing our intellectual and financialresources, so that Rigacan fulfill its true tourism potential,"said Bertolt Flick, President and CEO, airBaltic.
Recognizing that passenger numbers had fallen rapidly thisyear, it was natural for airBaltic to act very quickly and it hasalready implemented the first initiative, a contribution to a faster start-upfor the RTAB.
Ten internationally known creative agencies were invited toparticipate in a two-month-long competition for the right to develop an imagefor the city of Rigaand execute its marketing communication program. The winner is German agency Embassywho are known for creating the image for the city of Berlin. The Be Berlin campaign itexecuted in 2008 is one of the most vivid city-marketing success stories ofrecent years, and the people who created the campaign believe that a particularachievement was the active involvement of Berliners in the promotion of theircity.
Getting Riga's residents involved inmarketing activities will also be one of the tasks of the RTAB, helping itachieve its most significant objective: raising the awareness of Riga and increasing travelers' knowledge so that they makespecific decisions to visit Riga.Consequently, revenues will increase for the tourism industry, the city and Latvia overall.The Bureau will develop contemporary and dynamic communication with bothpotential tourists and with Riga'sresidents. The RTAB will promote Riga'simage as an attractive leisure and business tourism destination.
The first people to experience Riga'snew brand and its communication will be those in the most important targetmarkets 's Germany, Sweden, Finland,Norway, Russia, Ukraine,also Lithuania and Estonia. It isanticipated that, as an outcome of such active promotion, the proportion of thetourism sector to GDP will increase by 15-20% a year, that each additionalmillion tourists will mean the creation of 10 000 new jobs and thattourism exports will increase. Increased turnover in the tourism sectorimproves the development prospects for a string of related businesses 's theorganizers of cultural and arts events, restaurants and bars, concertpromoters, transport service providers and others.
"Tourism is actually the only sector where relatively fastgrowth is possible. That is why, in a time of economic crisis, it is preciselytourism and its economic contribution to the city and its residents that can begood news,"said Janis Naglis,LVRA President.
ALTA President Kitija Gitendorfanoted 'Tourism facilitates stable economic growth, creating new businessopportunities and jobs. Tourism can also help resolve our current economicwoes. We believe that Rigawill become a powerful magnet for tourists in this region. That is why we areworking on maximizing the strength of its attraction.'
In 2009, the Bureau's operations will be financially secured by theRiga City Council which has allocated one million lats to it. This is mostlyintended for developing an overseas advertising campaign for Riga as well as for creating attractivetourism products and promoting corporate tourism. In turn, the other foundermembers will be making significant financial contributions as soon as nextyear. The foundation will be administered by a board comprising representativesof the founders. Five marketing communications professionals will be employedby the Bureau.
RTAB shareholders: RigaCity Council 's 70%; airBaltic 's 10%; Latvian Hotel and RestaurantAssociation 's 10%; Latvian Travel Agents' Association 's 10%.