The increase of the tourist flow between Russia and Baltic countries, as
well as the need to create a united tourist space, lead towards better
cooperation between travel market representatives and government authorities.
An important step in that process is the opening of the Baltic branch office of
RUTI in Riga.
During a meeting in the Riga Duma representatives of both
governments and travel industry professionals discussed RUTI projects in the
Baltic region, the development of new tourist relations between the countries,
possible ways of increasing the tourist flow in both directions and many other
“We’ve done a lot in the recent years to make Riga an intellectual tourism center” – said Maksim
Tolstoy, member of the board in Riga’s
Tourism Development Bureau. Riga
is advertised as a capital city with rich cultural and historical heritage as
well as a good event list. Among them you’ll notice the local holiday Ligo
(Ivan Kupala Day) and the grand two-week winter celebration, including both
Christmas and Ney Year’s eve. “Russia
is a priority for our tourist market. If an average tourist spends around 531
euro during his stay in Latvia,
a Russian tourist spends twice as much – 1277 euro”, - noted Mr. Tolstoy.
is attractive to Russian tourists because it preserves its authenticity, its
sense of cultural heritage. In the globalization era, ethnicity is a good
marketing move, - thinks Head of the Tourism and Regional Politics Department
in the Ministry of culture, and also vice-president of RUTI, Sergey Korneev. – Latvia and the North-West region of Russia both have some common markets available
for them, like India, China and Latin America.
We need tourists to come to this region and perceive it as one big
destination”. One of the main tasks for the new RUTI branch, according to Mr.
Korneev, is creating tourist routes which include visiting nearby countries.
All in one trip.
This is the first time a full-scale RUTI branch is being
opened in Europe, pointed out Irina Tyurina,
RUTI Press-secretary and Chief Editor of RATA-news. Its main objective is to
increase the tourist flow between our countries in both directions. And there’s
room to grow: according to analytics, Latvia is in 25-28 place in Russian
tourist ratings. But we can already see some progress. According to Irina Tyurina,
Russians are starting to take interest in destinations other than Riga and Yurmala. Places
like Sigulda, Rundale, Liepaja,
Lielupe, Cesis and many others are gaining popularity. Also spa-resorts are in
demand, but there’s a shortage of them at the moment.
“Russian tour operators complement Riga’s new brand – LiveRiga. But there are
still not nearly enough promotion materials in Russian. Also the lack of
Latvian Tourism Office in Moscow
is a serious drawback”, - noted RUTI Press-secretary.
The Baltic branch of RUTI is just the foundation we need to
work out some service standards for North-West of Russia, Baltic countries and
countries of Northern Europe, thinks Head of
the North-West RUTI branch, Tatiana Gavrilova.
Latvian tourists are attracted to Russia
by the famous brands (like The Golden Ring) and eco-tourism destinations
(Baikal, Karelia). Yet, according to Olga
Sanaeva, Head of the RUTI Committee on Cultural and Educational Tourism, Kazan, the Far East and Kamchatka
also have good potential. If advertised right, the small historical towns can
attract Latvian tourist as well.
The new branch will be led by Ilona Ansone, who has great
experience in project marketing, including some in tourism. “The new RUTI
branch will help colleagues and partners improve their cooperation with
professional travel industry pralers in Latvia and other Northern European
countries. We will have a chance to improve travel ties between Russia and the
Baltic region, do better promotion and increase the tourist flow in both
directions”, - said Mrs. Ansone in the Riga Duma. The first step is to get
Latvian tour operators to participate in the RUTI branch. With time the project
will reach out to other Baltic countries.
“Our mission is to establish a positive information
exchange, create professional ties, so we can start to destroy the stereotypes
many tourists and travel industry representatives have”, - noted Ilona Ansone.
The first event of such nature was a tour called Riga+, highlighting what new attractions the
capital and the Vidzeme region have to offer. Many people, including tour
operators from Saint-Petersburg and RUTI representatives took part in the tour.
Companies that will become part of the Baltic branch of RUTI
will have more options when working with their Russian counterparts. RUTI
houses more than 20 regional travel associations and many top Russian tour
operators. Also Baltic partners will have discounts for many specialized events
like trade fairs, international forums and festivals. Also the Russian Union of
Travel Industry helps its partners to compile groups of travel market
representatives and journalists for those special press-tours.
During the visit, the Russian delegation met with the Mayor
of Riga, with heads of the Riga Tourism Development Bureau, members of the Riga
Duma and Latvian travel industry representatives.
Ilona Ansone was born in Riga, there in 2001 she graduated from the
Russian International Academy of Tourism. She worked in the entertainment
industry, marketing, business-consulting, took part in many trade fairs, has a
lot of international conference experience, attended forums in Latvia, Lithuania,
Russia, Belorussia, Poland
Her last place of work was the BT1 company, where Ilona organized the Balttour
trade fair and travel forum.
The registration of a legal body is already underway for the
Baltic branch of RUTI. More than 10 Latvian companies have already voiced their
wish to be the part of the organization.
You can contact the branch director by email firstname.lastname@example.org