Ten tourism companies from Pärnu County have sent a plea to the Association of Local Authorities of Pärnu County and Pärnu County Governor, asking for the renovation of Pärnu airport.
The companies said that, apart from Tallinn, Pärnu is the top tourist destination in Estonia. An estimated 26 percent of all local workers are employed in the tourism sector or sectors connected to it, reported ERR radio news.
Tourism is not a closed sector but also increases the demand in agriculture, catering, trade and service sectors.
The idea of a renovating the local aiport was first proposed by Andres Hall, the CEO of Auto24 racing track, who found that his track,located in Audru near Pärnu, is disadvantaged by a lack of a regional airport.
Hall said that this became especially obvious during an international show organized by Porsche in the beginning of the summer. The show was attended by clients and journalist from all over the world but connections to Tallinn and Riga airports were not the best.
Jaan Ratnik, a board member of Tervis Spa Group, said that the situation with the airport has worsened over the past few years. "The flights that we last year have now been cancelled as well," he said, adding that the number of tourist attractions and businesses, on the other hand, has increased. These businesses are very much interested in having a regional airport with regular connections to larger hubs.
"One can see from the list of signatories that the idea has a broad base of supporters and it can no longer be said that the spas want their own airport," he said.
The signatories include Estonia Spa Hotels, Hedon Spa, Viiking Spa-Hotel, Strand Spa and Conference Center, Pärnu Bay Golf Resort, Lottemaa theme park, Auto24 racing track and Rannahotell Hotel and Restaurant.