Hiiumaa, Estonia's second-largest island, has been declared the winner of Enterprise Estonia's undiscovered treasures competition. Second place went to Romantic Coastline of Pärnu County and third to Seto Külävüü route in southeastern Estonia.
The winners were chosen by a jury made up of tourism and food experts. "When choosing the best food tourism destination, we paid special attention to the close relationship between the local food culture and products and services offered to tourists, as well as to the destination's sustainability and consistency in developing those products and services" said Tarmo Mutso, Director of the Tourism Board of Enterprise Estonia. Orientation to customers, diversity of products and community involvement, among several other factors, were also taken into account.
Representative of the Hiiu island, Heleri Uus, said the competition has given them a much-needed push to aim for international markets. "We are still an undiscovered treasure for many," she said, adding that local tourists too will find that Hiiumaa has many new experiences to offer when it comes to food.
The runner-up was Romantic Coastline, a journey through Pärnu County with diversions to the famous Kihnu island and the ancient coastline still visible in some places more inland. The journey also includes the Baltic Herring Trail and over 30 eateries.
Worthy of a third place was Seto Külävüü, or Seto Village Belt, a series of country roads between the picturesque villages of Setomaa in southeastern Estonia. The belt passes several cafés and restaurants that offer Seto food, which is quite different from traditional Estonian cuisine.
Enterprise Estonia's "Undiscovered Treasures 2015. Tourism and Local Cuisine" is part of the European Commissions' "European Tourist Destinations of Excellence" (EDEN) project.
Editor: M. Oll