Tablets provide new tourist option

  • 2012-08-08
  • From wire reports

TALLINN - Tourism in the Baltics is turning out to be a bright spot in otherwise difficult economic times.
The tourism sector was one of the fastest growing areas of the Estonian economy last year, but the value added created by it still fell short of the pre-crisis levels, reports Estonian news portal BBN. More active travel boosted both the export and the import of tourist services.

Last year was a record year for the accommodation sector. The number of accommodated tourists grew by 13.5 percent in an annual comparison, to 2.7 million, and the number of overnight stays increased even more, by nearly 15 percent.
The number of foreign tourists staying at Estonian accommodation establishments increased by 15.6 percent to 1.8 million, and a slightly stronger growth was recorded in the number of overnight stays.

Both the number of accommodated tourists, and that of overnight stays, reached new record levels. Tourists from Russia, Britain and Finland accounted for most of the increase in the number of foreign tourists.
In April 2012, 205,000 tourists stayed in the accommodation establishments of Estonia, which was five percent more than in April last year, according to the data of Statistics Estonia.

In Estonia, 143,600 foreign tourists and 61,500 domestic tourists used the services of accommodation establishments, whose number increased seven percent and two percent, respectively, as compared to April of the previous year.
Two thirds of foreign tourists using the services of accommodation establishments came from neighboring countries Finland, Latvia and Russia. Compared to April of the previous year, six percent more tourists from these countries stayed in accommodation establishments.

The average cost of a guest night in an accommodation establishment was 31 euros, three euros more expensive than in the same period of the previous year.

Vilnius offers connectivity
In keeping up with its Baltic neighbors, those in the tourism industry in Vilnius have come up with yet another offer to improve the experience of visitors to their city.
On the road towards development of a smart and modern city, from now on Vilnius can be mentioned as the first city offering tablet PCs with integrated GooGPS software, offering visitors a new way to learn about the city, says the Vilnius Tourist Information Center, reports ELTA.

GooGPS PCs have an integrated city map and navigation which can create tour routes both for walking and driving tourists.
The device contains mobile Internet, which is free of charge and can be used by a tourist to check e-mail, use social networks, get information on the events organized in Vilnius, use Skype, order a taxi or just play a computer game or read a book, among other things.

The tablets can be rented in most of the hotels in Vilnius. From Aug. 6 Vilnius Tourist Information Centers are to join the network. The GooGPS device is useful not only for learning about the city, but also for those tourists who enjoy using non-limited Internet all the time and to stay connected with their friends, say the promoters.

Vilnius has already introduced a couple of tourism novelties to the fans of modern technologies, such as a tourism application, an audio-guide for mp3 players and an electro-roller rental service. GooGPS devices will swell the ranks of the innovative services and become excellent facilitators for a modern person during his/her travels, highlights the tourist center.

The rental fee for the device is 35 litas (10 euros) per 24 hours.