RIGA - Many Latvians in attendance at a major tourism exhibition in Berlin last week walked away from the Latvian national stand with their heads hung in shame, reports news agency LETA. The exhibit brings together the cream of the world tourism industry every year.
The Latvian stand was shocking in a negative way. “Crumpled green wallpaper, and a crumpled banner on white paper, black on white, all made a very bad impression,” said Hotel Centra director Aigars Cielava.
The exhibition is one of the world’s largest tourism exhibitions, taking place in 30 halls and visited by 200,000 people; the majority of visitors are tourism professionals. “Business directors, who under normal circumstances would have been at the stand, walked away and made their contacts elsewhere. They were even ashamed to be photographed at the stand,” said Baltictravelnews.com director Aivars Mackevics.
Latvia’s stand was put together at a cost of 9,000 lats (12,800 euros) by the State Tourism Development Agency, although the design was carried out by the Kurzeme Regional Tourism Association. This was the association’s first experience of stand organization, and as the association’s executive director, Jana Bergmane, said, the most important thing was for Latvia to be represented at the exhibition, even though financial resources were very limited.