Riga among top spots in Europe

There are two weeks left to help the city of Riga possibly become Europe’s Best Destination of 2015, the Riga Tourism Development Office told LSM Wednesday.  

Through a closed-balloting system, the organizers of the popular tourism industry prize say Riga is one of the top ten favorite places being mentioned in the tourist survey that determines the eventual winner.

Latvia’s capital city’s competitors this year include such attractive sites as Malta, Zagreb, Lisbon, Athens, Bordeaux, Milan, Ljubljana and Vienna.

The sponsors of Europe’s list of top spots for tourism are convinced that several million tourists are inspired by Europe’s Best Destination award to plan their trips to one of the nominated countries. Participation in the contest gives the city a huge boost to its reputation.

The Portuguese city of Porto saw a 16% boost in tourist flows in 2014, after being named last year’s top destination.

The voting began January 20 and continues three weeks until February 10.

Meanwhile the Association of Travel Agents and Operators (ALTA) told LSM Wednesday that more visitors have been coming to Latvia’s other attractions besides Riga, especially its delightful woods, beaches and countryside.

ALTA president Kitija Gitendorfa said a moderate increase in tourism has offset the fall in tourists from Russia due to political circumstances. Great Britain has been a solid leading source of visitors to Latvia, according to Gitendorfa no longer the stag-partyers familiar to Old Town pedestrians in previous years, but of a more respectable sort.

However, she pointed out that Latvia has long been unable to develop two critical sectors of its national tourism business – conference tourism and resort spa tourism. There is great unexploited potential in both of these fields in Latvia, she said.

The site features Riga’s self-promotion video clip ShareRiga when you @LiveRiga, published in 2012.

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