Baltics becoming less ‘undiscovered’

  • 2012-08-08
  • From wire reports

RIGA - Churches, Art Nouveau architecture and the Central Market have been named the most popular tourist sites in Riga, according to a survey carried out by the business information portal Foreign tourists visiting Riga frequently choose to visit the Riga Dome Church, St. Peter’s Church, the House of the Blackheads, seek out the Art Nouveau architecture, and stroll around the Riga Central Market, Riga Tourism Information Center consultant Edgars Mikelsons said.

The president of the Latvian Professional Guide Association Juris Martinsons also agreed that these are the most visited tourist sites in Riga, adding that the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia has also become a very popular tourist site.

The numbers tell the story. For example, the Riga Dome Church is visited by approximately 150,000 persons annually, the church reports. A short walk away, approximately 100,000 persons visit St. Peter’s Church every year, according to church tour guide Ruta Krukle, who added that this number could be even larger, as precise data is not available yet.
Every year the Museum of the Occupation is visited by approximately 100,000 people, the museum’s secretary Daina Ozolina said.

Worldwide exposure grows
This summer, as well as this upcoming autumn, several television stations from Italy, Ukraine, Japan and Russia have already, or intend to, film scenes on tourism opportunities in Latvia, says Latvian Tourism Development Agency (TAVA) spokeswoman Inta Briede.

Right after the Midsummer’s Night festivities, an Italian film group from channel LA7 filmed various places in the Gauja National Park and elsewhere. The station intends to air these scenes in a special program this September.
Meanwhile, a film crew from Japanese television BS-TBS is in Latvia, and intends to travel around the country by bus. They will also film in Estonia and Lithuania. This channel intends to air their footage on a special hour-long show in two or three months.

Furthermore, another Japanese channel, Kansai TV, plans to visit and film various tourism locations in Latvia. They will be making a 15 minute program about the country.
This August, a film crew from the Russian outdoor fishing and hunting channel Ohota i ribalka will arrive to film a program about Latvia’s rivers, which will most likely be aired in Russia sometime next year.
And, a film crew from Ukrainian TV channel ABTT will arrive in Latvia this September to film a program about fishing and crayfish catching traditions.