Lääne-Viru County is looking for ways to attract tourism, ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported Monday.
At a brainstorming session on the topic, Eva Samolberg-Palmi, editor-in-chief of local daily Virumaa teataja (VT) said: "Everyone should be in agreement with where we are moving as a county. Who will lead it or push it from behind is already a matter of agreement, but the goal should be common."
Lääne-Viru is one of the less populous of Estonia's 15 counties, being home to a little under 60,000 residents, giving it a population density of 16 people per square kilometer, around half the nationwide figure.
It does however includes Rakvere, the largest town with over 15,000 inhabitants, and also Tapa, home to the military base which houses both Estonian Defense Forces personnel and those from the NATO enhanced Forward Presence.
According to the data, the county racked up around 200,000 overnight stays last year, less than half that of neighboring Ida-Viru County.
The VT brainstorming session found that no great ideas had been found so far for attracting more tourists, and bewailed the county's apparent status as somewhere to pass through between point A and point B.
There should also be more cooperation between local government and the private sector, Roman Kusma, who heads up a municipalities tourism working group said – with the former needing to take on a greater role in overall promotion, since private sector firms only promote themselves and not their competitors.
One private sector firm Kusma mentioned is Aqva Hotel and Spa, in Rakvere, which has also been marketing itself to Finnish customers.
Meanwhile VT's editor-in-chief Samolberg-Palm said it was more important to agree on a common goal, than on a particular leader of the process.
VT is part of the Postimees group of papers.
Originally, there was just one Virumaa, which came to be split into two early on after the restoration of Estonia's independence, mainly for political reasons given the way that voting would go in the more populous half of the county, ie. in the present-day Ida-Viru County.
Lääne-Viru County itself is sandwiched between it and another, much more heavily populated county to the West, ie. Harju County. The eastern portion of the Lahemaa National Park falls in Lääne-Viru County.
Editor: Andrew Whyte, Merili Nael
Source: 'Aktuaalne kaamera'