The Riga Tourism Development Bureau (RTAB) is launching a communication campaign called Riga Without You is Just Not Riga!, the aim of which is for Riga residents, domestic and foreign tourists return to normal life in a responsible and safe manned already this summer.
In honor of campaign's launch and marking the re-awakening of the city, today, June 8, large-format letters "R… GA" were unveiled at Freedom Monument Square, inviting everyone to become a part of the capital.
"Riga is not only the capital of Latvia, but also the heart of the country's social life. Of course, we cannot return to normal life yet, but gradually and carefully the city must return to its usual rhythm. That is why I call on all entrepreneurs to open their doors to guests, thoughtfully and with the necessary safety measures. Furthermore, I call on Rigans to re-start life in the city - responsibly and cautiously. Currently, tariffs for street retail have been lifted for entrepreneurs, and regulations for outdoor summer cafes have been simplified. In addition, tomorrow at the city council meeting, we plan to postpone the introduction of a tourism tax for one year - until January 1, 2022. I hope that this will help the tourism industry recover from the crisis as soon as possible, but for the city's residents and guests - to enjoy Riga in full also during this time full of challenges!” says Edvīns Balševics, the head of the interim administration of Riga City Council.
"Many things before COVID-19 seemed so normal to us, but now some of them have become a luxury. For example, the opportunity to attend a concert, theater performance, restaurant or hairdresser in person. Before the crisis, we called for a digital detox, but now people are longing for face-to-face communication. The capital is a dynamic social platform, the quality of life of which is created by Rigans, but prosperity is increased by local and foreign tourists. Therefore, the aim of this campaign is to restore the taste of the capital, because Riga is just not Riga without you!” RTAB board member Eva Juhņēviča emphasizes.
Before the COVID-19 crisis, tourists from Lithuania and Estonia accounted for about 13% of the total number of tourists in the capital during the summer season. In 2019, in the period from June to August, almost 30,000 guests from Lithuania and 33,000 from Estonia visited Riga. RTAB plans that with this communication campaign in the Baltic market, it will be possible to reach 80% of last year's number of tourists from Lithuania and Estonia, but in August to welcome tourists from other target countries.
The Riga Without You is Just Not Riga! campaign is part of measures to facilitate tourism to the Latvian capital, in which it is planned to invest at least 780 thousand euros by the end of the year. In cooperation with RTAB partners, including the Riga Rimi Marathon, the Riga-Jurmala Classical Music Festival and the International Riga Biennale of Contemporary Art (RIBOCA2), various original and urban activities will be implemented. Already in June, the first city tourism hackathon will take place to jointly create innovative tourism products for local and foreign tourists for the summer season. The plan also includes a new cooperation program with tour operators and business tourism marketing activities.