Campaign to promote Estonia in Latvia is a success

Tourism campaign “Experiences from Estonia” which was carried out by Latvia has already finished. The campaign introduced people with the possibility to enjoy the nature of Estonia and choose our neighbour country as a tourism destination.

Co-financed from the European Regional Development Fund, the campaign website at www.visitestonia.com received 20,000 visitors, indicating major interest in spending a holiday in a natural setting in Estonia.

The magnificent nature of Estonia has become the main theme of the campaign, because of a survey made in Latvia in 2008. Within the framework of the survey it was found that tourists from Latvia mainly chose Estonia as a holiday destination, because of the beautiful nature, especially the islands. Geographical location and convenient reach of Estonia is also an important aspect. Culture, variety of events and architecture of Estonia were also essential to the respondents.

"The fact that Latvian tourists have a high regard for our nature, generally arrive here in their own vehicles and put together their own itinerary, means that they take an interest in different regions throughout Estonia, without restricting themselves to larger cities. Besides increasing the amount of travel in low season, getting tourists to travel to all parts of Estonia, not just to the cities, is certainly one of the keys to Estonian tourism growth," said the director of Enterprise Estonia's tourism development centre, Tarmo Mutso.

Within the framework of the campaign it was possible to look at a large-scale open-air exhibition of photographs in Old Riga. The exhibition, titled "Experiences from Estonia", was based on travel photographs taken by actual Latvian families along with excerpts from their travel journals. It was possible to find interesting sights and draw ideas for travels from a map of Estonia, put on the website of the campaign and press.

Banners on websites also linked to the campaign site, and prizes lay in store for those who answered all of the questions in an Estonia quiz correctly. The grand prize was a family holiday package to Võru County, with visits to naturally scenic parks and spas.

In 2008, Estonia was the second-most important destination for Latvians, after Lithuania. Estonia was the destination for 16% of Latvians' trips abroad last year, with 79,527 Latvian tourists staying with Estonian lodging providers. Latvians ranked fifth in terms of all foreign tourists lodged, after tourists from Finland, Germany, Sweden and Russia.

"Over one-half of the Latvians who visited Estonia have been here more than ten times. This poses a challenge to us and our tourism enterprises to find innovative solutions for keeping Latvian interest in Estonia high," said Mutso.

The creative concepts for the campaign were developed by ad agency Kontuur Leo Burnett in collaboration with its dealer in Latvia, and they can be seen at www.eas.ee/images/doc/uudised/lat-fotod.pdf

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