Due to Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine, eastern Estonia has seen a fall in tourists coming from the east. It is now hoped, that the region's diverse natural landscapes, as well as the border city of Narva, will be able attract increasing numbers of visitors from neighboring Latvia.
In a bid to fill the gap created by the lack of Russian tourists, next week, the Ida-Viru County Tourist Board is set to launch its first advertising campaign specifically targeting the Latvian market.
"The accommodation will not fill up overnight, this is purely an information campaign. But, even if they don't come to visit us right away, at least they will have an idea of Ida-Viru County in their minds. This is just the beginning when it comes to conquering the Latvian market. However, it will require consistent work and communication so that Latvians know who we are and where we are located, so that they will want to come here," said Hanna Villberg, marketing manager of the Ida-Viru Tourism Cluster.
Olga Smirnova, tourism coordinator for Narva, said that even without a campaign, Latvian tourists are increasingly finding that Narva, which lies on the border of two different countries, is a great place to visit.
"First of all, of course, there is the Narva Fortress and quite a lot of Latvian groups visit the Victoria Bastion. (They also) just walk around the city and book tours. I'm seeing more and more cars with Latvian plates in the city," Smirnova said.
Karina Küppas, manager of Narva-Jõesuu Medical SPA, said that in addition to a spa holiday, Latvians are also keen to visit the sights of Narva-Jõesuu.
"For Latvians who come for a longer stay, it's not just about the accommodation. They also want to see a bit of the area. Narva now has such a beautiful town hall and other interesting tourist attractions to visit. Word has spread so widely, that there are a lot of interesting things to see in Narva, so Latvians have heard about it and come to see them, which is obviously a plus for us," Küppas said.
The Ida-Viru County information campaign aimed at attracting tourists from Latvia, will cost a total of €5,000.
Editor: Michael Cole