Largely dotted by villages and small cottages, the northern shoreline of Europe's fourth largest lake, Peipus, is currently devoid of larger development, and regional leaders say a large Estonian-style spa hotel could be a catalyst for change.
Ida-Viru County Governor Andres Noormägi told Põhjarannik daily that such a project will be the main topic of an investor event held in St. Petersburg in November.
"Enterprise Estonia holds similar events, but I think we shouldn't only be selling Estonia as industrial park land, instead investments are also needed in tourist services, agriculture and food processing. We'd like to change the accents."
There have been such ideas in the past. July brought news that Mustvee-based entrepreneur Aljona Gorbatškova wanted to build a five-story, 120-room spa and hotel in Mustvee, one of the largest towns on Lake Peipus, which consists of three interlinked bodies of water - Peipsi in the north, Pihkva and Lämmijärv. Back in 2006, an American-Estonian husband and wife team unveiled an even more ambitious, close to 10 million euro, plan, but these haven't panned out due to opposition on the local council.
“Mustvee isn't logistically the best place," said Noormägi, who said he backed Rannapungerja village as one possible location.