Latvia gears up for tourist season

  • 2011-05-11
  • Staff and wire reports

RIGA - Before the start of the new tourism season, Latvia’s State Tourism Development Agency has released two new booklets for tourists – ‘Day Trips in and around Riga,’ and ‘Health. Well-being. Harmony,’ reports The booklets are available in English, German and Russian, whereas in Latvian, only the electronic versions are available.
Tourism Development Agency’s Director Armands Slokenbergs says that both booklets were based on the expected tourism trends and Latvia’s tourism marketing goals and possibilities.

“The number of specialized offers has been growing in the tourism industry the past few years,” says Slokenbergs. “Health and medical tourism is one area where Latvia has been developing successfully, which has high added-value and needs to be supported so we could address prospective clients,” he said, adding that the booklet ‘Health. Well-being. Harmony’ offered information on diagnostics, dentistry, ophthalmology, plastic and reconstructive surgery and reproductive medicine in Latvia. The booklet is intended to support this area of tourism.

The other booklet is an attempt to meet tourists’ wishes to plan their own trips, offering them as much information as possible about the best travel options. At the same time, tourists are offered information on Latvia’s regions, which they may visit by day and return to Riga in the evening of the same day. ‘Day Trips in and around Riga’ is meant for active tourism, eco-tourism, history as well as culture enthusiasts.

The material offers information on the main tourist attractions in Riga’s Old Town and elsewhere in the city, Jurmala and Kurzeme fishermen’s villages, Zemgale palaces and castles, Tervete Nature Park, Sigulda, boating trips, Turaida Museum, Ligatne and many other places.

The booklets will be distributed at fairs, exhibitions and seminars, through cooperation partners and also via tourist information centers.

The booklets are being released at a most opportune time, as Riga, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has come out as the most popular tourist destination in the Baltic region, shows a report in the U.S. business newspaper International Business Times. The newspaper praises Riga’s “old buildings, cobblestone streets, German architectural delights and a fascinating history that dates back to AD 1200,” and illustrates the city with several impressive photos.
Riga is becoming more and more popular in Europe due to its history, art and nightlife, which is gaining a reputation as the best in the all of Europe.

The newspaper points out that Riga International Airport is the largest airport in the Baltic States, and is well connected to most European cities.

It also highlights that trams, buses and taxis are available for traveling within the city. However, the best way to experience Riga’s Old Town, it says, is on foot. With its relatively compact size, and narrow streets and walkways, there is, though, really no other alternative anyway: horses are not a common sight in the city anymore.

The streets, with their round cobblestones, can give an “ouch” to tourists’ feet, but the buildings, reflecting Soviet and German influences, make up for everything else, the newspaper reports.
Riga also maintains a treasure trove of one of the best remaining collections of Jugendstil, or Art Nouveau, architecture in Europe, as many buildings survived the two World Wars.