After a three-year break, the “Person of the Year in Tourism” award has resumed. This year, the jury has decided to award three “Person of the Year in Tourism 2020-2022” awards, expressing gratitude to those representatives of the tourism industry who have made a significant contribution to the development and popularization of Latvian tourism business, as well as representing the interests of the tourism industry at a time when the tourism industry has been significantly affected by the pandemic and the Russian war in Ukraine. The awards were presented at the opening event of the tourism exhibition “Balttour 2023”.
The prize winners are:
- President of the Latvian Restaurant Association (LRA) Jānis Jenzis;
- Executive Director of the Association of Latvian Tourism Agents and Operators (ALTA), Astrida Trupovniece;
- Member of The Association of Hotels and Restaurants (LVRA) and owner of the hotel operator “Mogotel” Vadims Muhins.
“It is no secret that the past years have been full of challenges for the tourism and hospitality industry. First the pandemic and the restrictions it created, and when the industry was already thinking about recovery, the Russian invasion of Ukraine followed. During this time, many representatives of the tourism industry - managers of institutions, companies, managers of tourist information centres, representatives of associations and others have done much more than the duty requires, and this is the right time to thank them. This year, unlike previous years, the jury decided to award three “Person of the Year in Tourism” awards, although in fact, in my opinion, huge gratitude is due to everyone who continues to work for the benefit of the tourism and hospitality industry,” says the founder of the award, the director of the tourism news portal BalticTravelnews.com Aivars Mackevičs.
“This year, only 46 proposals were sent from tourism associations and also individually, but considering that during these three years, tourism associations have invested the most in defending the interests of tourism, the three most active tourism associations of Latvia were chosen - the Association of Latvian Hotels and Restaurants (LVRA), Association of Latvian Tourism Agents and Operators (ALTA) and Latvian Restaurant Association (LRA),” adds Mackevičs.
The Latvian tourism industry award “Person of the Year in tourism” is traditionally presented to the best managers, representatives or supporters of tourism industry companies and institutions of the past year (this year - the past three years), who have made a significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian tourism business and defended the interests of the tourism industry. The applicant for the award can also be a successful, responsible representative of his business or profession with an impeccable reputation, who has become a leader in his field.
The “Person of the Year in Tourism” award is presented for the 18th time. Since 2004, it has gained an important status in the Latvian tourism industry and Latvian national economy. Prize laureates also traditionally receive statuettes created by the artist Ieva Strazdiņa, which were made with the funding of the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Latvia and the Tourism Department of the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia, as well as acknowledgments designed by Mārtiņš Strubergs. The “Baltijas Apdrosinasanas nams” and the international exhibition centre “BT1” provide support for the successful conduct of the event.
This year, the jury for the “Person of the Year in Tourism 2020-2022” award included: LVRA and LRA board member, manager of the hotel “Riga Islande Hotel” Andris Kalniņš, “Person of the Year in Tourism 2019” laureate, ALTA president, dean of the International Tourism Faculty of the Turība University, the manager of the tourism company “Baltic Vision” Dr. Ēriks Lingebērziņš, “Person of the Year in Tourism 2018” laureate, head of LIAA Tourism Department Inese Šīrava, manager of “Centurion Hospitality” company Didzis Grāvītis, “Person of the Year in Tourism 2012” laureate, Latgale Tourism Association board member, Ludza TIC manager Līga Kondrāte, LRA board member, owner of the “36.line” restaurant Lauris Aleksejevs, “Person of the Year in Tourism 2009” laureate, ALTA board member, general director of the company “Amadeus” in Latvia and Lithuania, as well as sales director in the Nordic countries and Central Europe Kitija Tigule, editor of Travelnews.lv Ludmila Alampasu and BalticTravelnews.com director Aivars Mackevičs.