Latvian Embassy organized its first "Baltic States Tourism Seminar" at the Millennium Seoul Hilton on May 15.
The event brought together 20 representatives from central and local government institutions in the tourism sector and from privately owned travel agencies in the three Baltic states _ Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.
Inese Sirava, head of the tourism department at Latvia's Investment and Development Agency, led the Latvian delegation. It included representatives from the Riga Tourism Development Bureau (LIVE RIGA) and travel companies Baltic Travel Group, Con-ex Latvia Tours Group and Estravel Latvia.
Latvian Ambassador Peteris Vaivars presented the first publication produced by the Baltic states in the Korean language _ a travel guide translated at the Latvian Embassy.
In its daily contacts with people from Korean tourism businesses, the Latvian Embassy is receiving a clear message about the interests of Korean tourists in the Baltic states, the ambassador said.
I am happy that the Baltic states have agreed to jointly offer the Baltic destination as a single tourism product to Korean visitors, whose number is increasing by the year.
With a special focus on the centenary of the Baltic states in 2018, representatives suggested that the coming year could be declared "Baltic Year" in Korea.
The seminar included presentations about tourist destinations in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Lufthansa and Finnair airlines introduced the shortest and most comfortable flight routes from Korea to the Baltics, the embassy said.
Baltic and Korean tourism organizations and agencies also held business-to-business meetings to build new contacts and answer questions about specific interests.
According to the embassy, the number of Korean travellers to Latvia and the Baltic states is steadily increasing, approaching 10,000 annually.
Latvia aims to reach out to larger numbers of potential travellers through tourism media and Korean travel agencies so that the number of visitors can be raised to at least 20,000 over the five coming years," an embassy spokesperson said.