LETA: Ligatne Tourism Information Centre the 5th Most Visited in Vidzeme
According to information published in Ligatne Municipality Information Bulletin, Vidzeme Tourism Association reports Ligatne Tourism Information Centre (TIC) the fifth most attended TIC in Vidzeme this year. TIC looks forward to improving results next year.
Information batched by Ligatne tourism experts proves that Ligatne Tourism Information Centre served 3116 tourists (on average 19.8 people a day) over the period from June to the end of the year of which 2083 were individual tourists and 1033 tourists who had applied for organised excursions. Of all tourists 76% were from Latvia; tourists from Germany made up 7% of incoming travellers, 4% of tourists came from Estonia and 2% – from Lithuania. Another 2% of travellers visiting Ligatne came from France and Holland mostly travelling on bicycles. The furthermost countries tourists came from this year were New Zealand, India and Argentina.
Ligatne TIC looks forward to quadruple the number of visitors next year and become the third most attended tourism information centre in Vidzeme. This is an attainable task, since the ERAF project of two new facilitated tourist paths is going to be finished in spring. Moreover, experience and previous elaborations, popularity of Ligatne historical centre and the soviet bunker will be most helpful to attain the set goal.
Inese Okonova, an information specialist of Ligatne TIC, told about the most important task for the next year would be to attract the interest of adult tourist groups since the majority of tourists visiting Ligatne were the groups of schoolchildren. “If we look at showing this year, there is another target group to reach – the Russian speaking inhabitants of Latvia, who lack information about the travel and recreation opportunities outside Riga and whose interest and surprise in different opportunities offered in Ligatne was quite evident,” Inese Okonova tells.
Ligatne TIC, for the time being, is working on different information brochures and guides to be published by the month of February when owing to the ERAF support it will take part in “Balttour 2011”, the biggest travel trade fair in Latvia, as well as TIC is developing new travel routes and thinks of expanding the assortment of souvenirs.
The Man of the Year 2010 in Tourism – Šlesers
Ainārs Šlesers, the Member of the 10th Saeima and the former Riga Vice Mayor (PLL), got reward for promoting Live Riga development in the travel trade competition “The Man of the Year 2010 in Tourism” held by the Travel News Portal BalticTravelnews.com in conjoint with the Tourism Development State Agency (TAVA) and travel trade professionals. Other winners are as follows:
The 2010 Top Tourism Companies and Sites in Kurzeme
On 26 November, the Tourism Association of Kurzeme announced the winners of the Kurzeme Tourism Award “Lielais Jēkabs 2010” in eight nominations:
The winners received glass statuettes created by the artist Raimonds Kuncītis from Liepāja.
Scandlines extends services to the Baltic States
To meet the demand in passenger and cargo transportation to and from the Baltic States, the Scandlines shipping company is going to put an additional ship on service. As of 3 January, a hired cargo-passenger Ro/Pax vessel “Scottish Viking” will start service five times to with corresponding departures per week on the route Nynäshamn–Ventspils.
With the launch of additional service, Scandlines will increase conveyances at 30% on the route Sweden–Latvia. The Scandlines’ CEO Mr Søren Poulsgaard Jensen tells, “There are more and more people wishing to travel to and from the Baltic States this year. Putting on the line a new ferry, we wish to meet demand on the market – and, first of all, the demand in cargo shipment. Besides, there is an increasing number of tourists using our ferry service to and from the Baltic States. The high-class “Scottish Viking” is a vessel that will better satisfy the needs of our passengers.”
International cycling network to go via Jelgava
Jelgava Regional Tourism Centre (JRTC) will take part in the EU Regional Development Fund supported project that envisages the development of unified network of cycling routs in the Baltic States. Latvia’s cycling enthusiasts will surely gain from 10–15 new cycling routes encompassing the city of Jelgava, as well as the local municipal areas of Jelgava and Ozolnieki.
It is explained in the Central Baltic Cycle Network project that the new routes will commute pedalists to Tervete and Bauska local municipal territories and to more faraway destinations in Kurzeme, Vidzeme and Latgale, Riga and both neighbouring countries.
Riga Promoted In Sweden
Riga Tourism Development Bureau (RTAB) and Tallink Silja AB launched a promotional campaign to popularise Riga as the destination for season holidays and offering Swedish tourists an opportunity to enjoy Christmas atmosphere in the city celebrating the 500th anniversary of the world’s first decorated Christmas tree.
"Sweden is a vital RTAB’s target market; therefore we are pleased about cooperation with Tallink that would make the name of Riga sound out louder. The promotional campaigned launched by LIVE RĪGA in Sweden took place in October and November and is followed by the campaign launched in conjoint with Tallink. This is an excellent example of cooperation with other partners in all target markets,” the director of RTAB Mr Gastons Neimanis explains.
Ads promoting Riga were published in major Swedish printed media, the Internet portal aftonbladet.se, as well as distributed through outdoor media in Stockholm, Norrköping, Uppsala, Linköping, Eskilstuna, Västerås, Falun, Gävle and Borlänge.
Latvia And Russia Will Cooperate!
The Government supported the tourism cooperation agreement between Latvia and Russia that provides for the development of cooperation of both neighbouring countries on the principles of equal rights and mutual profitability.
The agreement envisages inter-state support in contact making to tourism authorities, promoting cooperation between Latvian and Russian outbound and inbound tourism related and venture capital organisations. Under this agreement both parties, through mediation of tourism management authorities, undertake to promote the development of the group and individual tourism, exchange of special tourist groups.
Both countries will exchange information on probability of force majeure occurrence in their territories; will provide for safety and protection of other country’s citizens and permanent residents’ interests, i.a. their evacuation in the occurrence of force majeure events.
The agreement also envisages the exchange of statistical data, conjoint training and cooperation within international organisations, fair organisation and many other events.
LETA: New Ferry Line
Opening a ship route Gotland–Ventspils–Saaremaa that has been on the agenda for the past couple of years will become reality next summer.
Kuressaare city council development adviser Ingrid Tilts told that the ship connection between three states will be launched in 2011 but the schedule of the route and the period when the trips take place has not yet been determined. “It is clear that the route will start with a small ship and not very frequent trips but the aim is to increase the service so that it would persist in the future,” said Tilts.
In order to do the necessary research, the Interreg IV A Central Baltic Sea programme has allocated for the Ventspils Free Port, Gotland commune and Kuressaare city cooperation project nearly 1.6 million euros (LVL 1.12 million) in two years.
Coming soon on market are the pocketsize toilets, which are likely to become a sought-after product among many tourists and festivalgoers.
Developed by Ardern Healthcare, the new Pocket WC will cost about EUR 4.30 a piece. Its developer asserts that this product is ideal for males aged 3–103. However, it might also be useful to ladies.
Pocket WC is a small multiple-use package capable to convert liquid into non-odorant gel. Sized to put in a pocket, it will easily fit into a glove compartment or a small purse. Pocket WC will go on sale in the biggest European supermarkets, petrol stations, railway terminals and bus stations, as well as in any other place accumulating a great number of tourists.
Tourist Paths in Kemeri National Park
The participants of Kemeri National Park Tourism Forum came to an agreement about developing several new tourist paths.
It is intended to replenish the existing offer already by the next season avoiding big financial investments and saving resources up to the maximum. Several of newly designed paths will be arranged already in some of coming months – looking forward to as thick mantle of snow as last year, the first ski tracks in Kemeri National Park will be marked.
The paths will offer insight into cultural and historical heritage of Kemeri National Park, the accomplishments of local manufacturers and artisans.
LETA: The 2010 Name in Tourism Awards
As of today until 3 December, entries for the 2010 Name in Tourism Awards are being accepted, the representative of Awards organiser Ms Benita Zaretoka informs.
As Ms Zaretoka told, entries in six nominations – The 2010 Name in Tourism, The Name in Lodging Business 2010, The Name in Travel Agent and Tour Operator Business 2010, The Name in Tourist Information Centres 2010, The Name in Restaurant Business 2010 and The Name in Travel journalism 2010 – will be accepted by 3 December.
The entries shall specify nominee’s name and surname, the nomination and shall include the explanation why this person deserves the winner’s laurels.
The nominees will be evaluated by a special commission consisting of nine experts representing the travel news portal “BalticTravelnews.com”, the Tourism Development State Agency, the Association of Latvian Hotels and Restaurants and the Association of Latvian Travel Agents and Tour Operators (ALTA).
The two main criteria for evaluation are the nominee’s performance in workplace and his or her contribution to the tourism industry in general. The winners will be announced on 10 December.
The Tourism Awards take place the eighth concurrent year and is held by the travel news portal “BalticTravelnews.com”.
Year past, The 2009 Name in Tourism went to Kitija Gitendorfa, the president of the Association of Latvian Travel Agents and Tour Operators and Jānis Naglis, the president of the Association of Latvian Hotels and Restaurants.
Make For Tervete Nature Park!
Tervete Nature Park reduced admission ticket prices for the low season:
The 2009 top tourist destination in Latvia – Tervete Recreation and Nature Park, managed by A/S „Latvijas valsts meži” (JSC Latvian State Forests), invites you to enjoy a healthy walk and fresh air also in winter. The park boasts picturesque landscapes and view sites, more than 100 wood sculptures and natural formations, a unique pine forest with magnificent three hundred years old trees, the shrouded in mystery Fairy Tale Forest and the world of laborious dwarves, and the scenic Tervete River with countless bridges and plank-ways.
Read more: www.tervetesparks.lv
Virtual Old Riga Walking Tour
As of 1 November, Tourist Infoline offers to take a virtual walking tour around the Old Town of Riga and stories about its remarkable historical sites in their website www.touristinfoline.com. All you need is to open the 360˚ panoramic virtual tour, to dial the Tourist Infoline number (+371) 2777 2888 and to listen 13 stories about the Old Town of Riga in any of 16 languages. Your call will be charged as a regular call to the cellular telephone network.
Winter Park in Mezaparks
The arrangement of Winter Park that will offer perfect conditions for such enjoyable wintertime activities as skiing, tube sleigh riding and skating in our capital city is in full progress in the territory of the Song Festival Big Stage in Mezaparks.
The 700m artificial long-distance ski track, to be extended to 2km later on, is going to be arranged. The slope of the big stage will turn into a 75–120m descent for tube sleigh riding with two ski lifts transporting enthusiasts to the start point.
The complex will also offer a natural ice rink and inventory rental services. Weather permitting artificial snowmaking, the park will open in the second half of November.
Soviet Bunker In Ligatne
The Lonely Planet Year Book “Best in Travel 2011” published in Great Britain this time mentions our country too. In view of the 20th anniversary of the collapse of the USSR, “Best in Travel” offers the list of 10 exceptional destinations regarded as the weirdest relics of yesteryear.
With Moscow Metro on top of the list, the yearbook also mentions Latvia’s best-selling tourist object of recent years – Liepaja Naval Port Prison. The authors suggest all brave hearts an overnight stay in a former military prison while people deficient in masochistic inclinations should opt for a regular guided tour.
Hidden under the Rehabilitation Centre Ligatne and having withstood tear and wear of almost three decades, the secret soviet bunker has won authors’ attention as a perfect monument of soviet era.
Among all destinations for the year 2011, solely the two above mentioned are in the Baltics. The year book does not give a mention neither of Estonia nor Lithuania.
Do you wish a tour in the secret soviet bunker?
Ligatne Fishery Museum!
The National Fishing Trade Museum will open in Ligatne, nearby the crossing over the River Gauja. The museum will research the history of fishing in Latvia and its traditions since the days of old when fishing was the main source of living until today when many of traditional fishing gears are banned by law. The arrangement of the museum facilities is planned to be done during the 2011 tourism season.
Seminars On Tourism In Protected Areas
On 2–3 December, a two-day programme of seminars about the basic principles of organising eco-friendly, sustainable and cost-effective tourism in special protection areas will be held within the framework of the individual project “Promotion of sustainable development through improved resources use and management in the territory of nature park "Daugavas loki” in Daugavpils.
The seminar will focus the opportunities of active, nature and cultural tourism in special protection areas, as well as it will cover the issues about natural resources and the good practice examples of their use in developing a tourism product, and tourism friendly to the nature and cultural environment. Speakers will provide practical advice on active tourism opportunities – developing routes and their marking, the principles of developing a tourism product.
Register your participation with the Regional Development Division of Daugavpils District Municipal Council (Rīgas 2-29, Daugavpilī, tālr.65476882, email@example.com ) by 28 October 2010.
Wish To Travel? Check Your Passport?
Latvian citizen's passport and Latvian non-citizen’s passport with a validity of 50 years, will not be valid for international travel outside the Schengen Area beginning 1 November 2010.
Persons who travel often and wish to obtain the new EU passport are welcome to apply to any regional office of the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (OCMA) irrespective of their registered place of residence. According to the standard procedure a passport is issued within 20 days, the accelerated procedure takes two to five days.
As we know, Latvian citizen’s passport issued before 1 July 2002, containing a glued photograph is not valid for international travelling since 1 July 2008. Other Latvian citizen’s and non-citizen’s passports issued after 1 July 2002 are valid for travelling or living in Latvia until the end of their validity period.
Film About Christmas Tree Gets Thumbs Up
The film “Christmas Miracle In Riga” produced by the Riga Tourism Coordination and Information Centre landed the Silver Dolphin in the tourism film category at Cannes Corporate Media & TV Awards.
The international jury – corporate and mass media specialists, film experts, marketing professionals – evaluated 350 films adjudging awards – Silver and Gold Dolphins – in each of 6 principal categories, as well as nominated the Festival Grand Prix winner.