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The new Latvian tourism image is based on changes in the scale of values of population of Latvia and other countries, when searching for new content of life prevails over the traditional consumption. The fast run for welfare, the willingness to be on time and the best in all fields had an exhausting effect on people and made their life more turbulent as ever. Some facts describing these tendencies:
- ecotourism market, depending on the destination, climbs by 20 – 34% a year since 1990;
- nature tourism increases in the international tourism market by 10 -12% a year;
- in 2009 more than one third of travellers planned staying in environmentally friendly places, i.e., climb by 30% within a year;
- in Europe 20 - 30% of travellers recognise and choose sustainable way of travelling; 10 – 20% prefer “green” choices;
- in Germany 65% (39 million) of travellers expect “environment quality”; 42% (25 million) thinks that staying in an environmentally friendly place is particularly important;
- in Great Britain 87% of travellers think that their vacations must not harm the environment, 39% would be ready to pay extra 5% for “environmental ethics guarantee”, and environmental policy of their tour operators is important for 70% of travellers;
- 95% of Swiss tourists consider that respecting the local culture is very important;
- e.g., tourism agencies Thomas Cook and TUI PLC have special managers of sustainable tourism;
- market analysts forecast increase in eco resorts and hotel sector and boom of nature tourism; the sector already experiences 20% increase per year.
The new Latvian tourism image will help popularizing Latvia as a place, where by arrival the tourist has the opportunity to change his pace of life and enjoy calm and nuanced rest, where gaining new experience, finding harmony and revealing the true values are also allowed.
In developing the concept of Latvian tourism image the considered fact was that Latvia was and never will be a mass tourism product, and development of Latvian tourism product should be based on five basic values, i.e., quality, sustainability, individualization, high added value, attraction of tourists and gaining experience, which are the foundation for the vision of Latvian tourism development.
Therefore, the basic idea of the new Latvian tourism image “Best enjoyed slowly” invites tourists to slow down their pace of life, to stop and enjoy slow and detail-oriented recreation and think about the important issues of life. The core values of Latvian tourism image are described with truthfulness, profoundness, lightness and self-respect lying in the nature, culture and people of Latvia.
Development of communication platform for Latvian tourism communication is accompanied with developing the tourism image suitable for the archetype groups of “changes” and “restoration of stability” and defined as a combination of two archetypes “The seeker” and “The wise”. Both archetypes describe the current willingness of people resulting from economic changes to change themselves in order to find stability, i.e., to be themselves and to get to know the world.
“Best enjoyed slowly” encourages to stay longer and enjoy things, whose realization requires time and peace, i.e., tea can be enjoyed slowly only and bird songs can be heard only in silence. The slow tourism is an alternative for persons tired from traditional tourism, which is usually limited to recreation in a resort or visiting maximum number of tourism objects in a short period of time. A slow tourist is an environmentally friendly and responsible traveller, who stays in one place for a longer period of time, gets to know the culture of the country and style of life of its population, acquires authentic experience, treats the environment and its diversity with responsibility and discovers objects unfamiliar for other travellers. Such tourist is usually motivated to recommend also others to visit the respective country, thus ensuring efficient and modern marketing.
The main objective of implementing the new concept of Latvian tourism image is to extend the duration of stay for tourists in Latvia, advance the increase of tourism sector share in gross domestic product, and promote the development of local tourism and growth of regional tourism product export.
In the future the Latvian tourism image will serve as a uniting idea and common element for public and private sector marketing and product development activities for advancement of unified sector communication in Latvian tourism target markets.
The new Latvian tourism image will be most actively popularized in high priority tourism target markets, i.e., Lithuania, Estonia, Germany, Russia, Sweden and Finland, which are determined in the Latvian tourism marketing strategy. “Best enjoyed slowly” describes the idea and platform of the Latvian tourism image, however, the communication in the target markets will use only the versions of Latvian tourism logotype and slogans in the following foreign languages: English, Russian and German.
Expert of Tourism Marketing