Handicraft Association Frowns on Non-Local Amber, Matryoshka Dolls (1)

Photo: ERR
6/5/2013 11:38 AM
Category: Economy

With the start of the summer tourism season, business is good for souvenir vendors in Tallinn's Old Town, but critics argue that too much of the memorabilia showcased in shop windows - notably amber jewelry and matryoshka dolls - has nothing to do with Estonia.

“We bought the dolls that open up and we also bought an amber necklace, bracelets,” a British tourist told ETV.

The Estonian Folk Art and Craft Union said the City of Tallinn should do more to promote local goods. One way to this would be to give preference to local producers and suppliers when renting commercial space.

"There is too much coming in from abroad and we can't tell them not to do it in a free market,” said Liina Veskimägi-Illiste, the association's project director.

Others don't see a problem with foreign, mass-produced goods, which can be cheaper to make.

Andres Arrak, an economics expert and regular media commentator, said it doesn't matter what tourists are buying, as long as they are buying something. "If there is a demand for matryoshkas, then they need to be sold,” he said.

Voldemar Kolga, a psychologist, said: “A tourist wants foremost what he or she is familiar with.”


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