TALLINN – The council of the Estonian Travel and Tourism Association has elected Tiit Pruuli, chairman of the supervisory board of Go Travel, as the president of the association for the next two years.
The council also elected a new composition of the board of the association for the coming two-year period.
Pruuli described Estonian tourism and the travel sector more specifically as being in a worse situation than ever before, as the turnovers of companies have fallen by 90 percent, the people working in the sector have been subject to massive layoffs and the sector has to make do with a critical number of professionals until the spring to be able to relaunch tourism services then.
"It can be said without exaggerating that the decisions to be made in the next couple of months are a matter of life and death for the Estonian travel sector. If the state finds the means to keep a sufficient number of highly experienced travel experts in employment until the spring, we can hope that our travel industry will be capable of recovery at the beginning of the new high season," Pruuli said in a press release.
He said that if aid is not provided, the travel sector is faced with a collapse and the places left vacant by Estonian travel companies will be taken up by foreign business operators.
"While the export of tourism services has so far contributed one-tenth of the export revenue of the state, in the future tax income would bypass Estonia and also the convenience of Estonian travelers would suffer as foreign companies would always make plans and schedules how is most suitable for them," Pruuli said.
Kulli Karing, the former president of the Estonian Travel and Tourism Association, will continue as vice president of the association. The board elected Aivo Takis as second vice president of the association.
The other members of the new board are Enn Vilgo, Heldur Alles, Sigrid Tammes and Sven Lookene.
The Estonian Travel and Tourism Association, established in 1990, currently has 78 members. It is a member of the European travel and tourism industry body ECTAA.