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Latvia's rural tourism industry hopes for 'logical' government decisions

The rural tourism industry looks forward to 'logical government decisions' that would allow the industry to work in compliance with all the requirements needed to limit Covid-19, the head of the Rural Tourism Association, Asnāte Ziemele, told Latvian Radio April 9.

She said last year was different for different representatives of the industry, for some it was very good, better than previous seasons, some were just surviving, but those who focused more on foreign tourists and mass events had a very difficult year.

She said that the rural tourism industry is looking forward to a government decision on allowing outdoor catering, because it can be easily provided in the countryside in the vast fields, but “we don't want plastic dishes.”

“Grandma's pancakes can't be eaten from disposable dishes, they won't taste the same”, and people want to eat outside in the meadow instead of in their bedroom, where they woke up in the morning, said Ziemele.

She said that the industry expects government decisions that have been made “by logic, not by the letter of law.” For example, currently in epidemiologically safe areas, classes can be held on-site and outside, but these same pupils can't go on tours on a farm.

“What's a big difference is whether the class is sitting in the yard together or looking at rabbits on the farm,” Ziemele said.

Or, for example, four workers who work together every day, cannot rent a cabin together and dine together, said Ziemele.

She said that the industry wanted to meet all the requirements for limiting Covid-19 distribution and not to hide, but wants them to be understandable and logical. At the moment, owners are even afraid whether they are doing everything right, or whether they have understood the rules correctly.

“We hope the government will correct a lot of things, not just in retail, and our sector will be able to work,” Ziemele said.

But in general, the industry looks forward to the future, and is also preparing for a time when foreign tourists will be able to come, as people in other regions look at the Baltic States with great interest.

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