"Balttour" forum will bring together tourism professionals from Europe and Central Asia!
On 6–8 February 2014, Riga will host the "Balttour" forum – the opening event of the leading travel trade fair in the Baltics, "Balttour 2014" – which will be attended by more than 350 tourism professionals from more than 15 European and Central Asian countries.
The "Balttour" forum is a prestigious international event which has a big influence on the tourism and culture sphere in the Baltic Sea region. The forum is held once a year and promotes the exchange of tourism services within the region – representatives of the Baltic states’ tourism sector present the current tourism products, services, cultural events, and regional development plans to foreign professionals.
At the "Balttour 2014" forum representatives of Baltic States governments, leaders of travel agent and operator associations, ambassadors, and tourism professionals will discuss the "Protocol on Amendments to the Agreement among the Government of the Republic of Latvia, the Government of the Republic of Estonia and the Government of the Republic of Lithuania on Co-operation in the Field of Tourism" signed in October at the XII European Tourism Forum. Not only does the signed document acknowledge the co-operation so far, but it also provides a clear perspective for future co-operation.
To promote integration of the Baltic States in the international tourism industry, it is planned to establish joint tourism information offices and appoint joint tourism representatives both in the respective and other countries. Armands Slokenbergs, Director of the Latvian Tourism Development Agency, says that in foreign tourism markets where the brand "the Baltics" has been in use for a long time, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia will increasingly be promoted as a single tourism destination. In these markets the Baltic states will be presented as a joint tourism product.
‘The “Balttour” forum is a great opportunity to discuss the untapped potential for creating and promoting joint tourism products in a broader context – within the European and CIS countries. In the forum we will exchange experience already accumulated by our co-operation and discuss possibilities for future developments,’ Armands Slokenbergs, Director of the Latvian Tourism Development Agency, says.
The "Balttour 2014" forum will be held for three days and will include work seminars, tourism offer presentations, discussions and business meetings devoted to the quality of tourism services, medical tourism and tourism marketing methods. See the forum programme at: http://ej.uz/ew1d
‘Regarding the success of the two previous “Balttour” business forums, we are continuing to develop this event as an effective platform for sales and purchase by organising tourism professional discussions and informal events intended for establishing contacts,’ Kitija Gitendorfa, President of the Association of Latvian Travel Agents and Operators (ALTA), says.
On 6 February, the first day of the forum, matchmaking or workshops, in which tourism companies are welcome to present their products and services, as well as make new contacts and deals, will take place alongside discussions. In the evening the forum participants are welcome to the "Live Riga" reception, which will take place in the new building of the National Library of Latvia, "Gaismas pils" (The Castle of Light) which is one of the "Riga 2014 – European Capital of Culture" symbols.
On 7 February the forum participants will visit the most significant travel trade exhibition/fair in the Baltics, "Balttour 2014", and on 8 February will go on excursions around Latvia to see the tourism products it has to offer. The range of tourism products in Latvia is quite diverse, from historical and cultural tourism to culinary tourism, which has become very popular nowadays. Find out more at: www.balttour.lv/forum
The forum is hosted by the organisers of the "Balttour" International Travel Trade Fair – the Association of Latvian Travel Agents and Operators (ALTA) and International Exhibition Company BT 1, in co-operation with the Latvian Tourism Development Agency, Riga City Council, Live Riga, Riga Astor Hotel and Avalon Hotel. Registration partner – the FTB Latvia – A/S Estravel travel agency affiliate in Latvia.
The "Balttour 2013" forum gathered 330 tourism professionals, as well as various officials, tourism company managers and representatives of professional organisations from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Germany and other countries.