Estonian Hotel and Restaurant Association

Estonian Hotel and Restaurant Association


Press release: The key tourism conference of the year focuses on the future of Estonian tourism

01. October 2018

The key tourism conference of the year focuses on the future of Estonian tourism


During the tourism conference to be held tomorrow, the professional associations linked to Estonian tourism and Visit Estonia, the tourism development center within Enterprise Estonia, as well as international experts will be discussing what role tourism plays in Estonian economy and how to ensure the sustainability of Estonian tourism in the coming years.


“Today, the entire Estonian tourism sector employs nearly 100,000 people, so this is a crucial area of economy whose future will have a direct impact on how well Estonian economy will be doing. Tomorrow, during the international tourism event, we are going to have a good look at the century-old Estonian tourism and determine which steps need to be taken for ensuring success in the global tourism market,” said Mariann Lugus, principal secretary of the Estonian Travel and Tourism Association.


According to Kristiina Talisainen, project manager of Visit Estonia, which is holding the conference, Estonian tourism has displayed some growth in the recent couple of years, and global traveling has been gaining momentum, but holiday destinations still fight fiercely for every tourist.


“For example, we have been toiling for years with Estonian companies to promote incoming tourism form Asia, and now we can see that our work has borne fruit as more and more tourist groups from China, Japan and other Asian countries come to Estonia,” Talisainen said.  “Still, Estonian is not one of the global tourist attractions, so smart and well-designed marketing of Estonia must continue on neighboring markets and in more remote countries alike.”

The tourism conference features futurologist Magnus Lindkvist from Sweden, who will be sharing his ideas about the future of tourism, Dr. James McCabe, an Irish scriptwriter, with a speech on storytelling as well as writer and opinion leader Doug Lansky, who will be speaking about experience design and smart destinations. In addition, one of the most knowledgeable transport experts in Estonia, Henrik Hololei will be speaking about Estonia’s transport-related perspectives and visions or, in other words, whether Estonian tourism will fall behind the ever-developing technology or not.


Moreover, the festive Tourism Gala, which is to be held tomorrow, will see the first ever ceremony during which high tourism awards will be given to remarkable people and organizations whose daily work has been a valuable contribution to the promotion of Estonian tourism and has brought Estonia wider global publicity. The jury comprising the representatives of Visit Estonia, the Estonian Travel and Tourism Association, the Estonian Hotel and Restaurant Association, the Estonian Convention Bureau, the Estonian Spa Association, Estonian Rural Tourism and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications will distribute awards in the following categories: Tourism Ambassador, Conference Ambassador, Regional Tourism Star, Tourism Virtuoso, Travel Guru and Visit Estonia Marketing Star.


“Culture can be used for telling fascinating stories, and the people we are awarding today have contributed with their enthusiasm, breadth of knowledge and tireless work to Estonia becoming globally known as the land of culture, thrilling experiences and innovation, which turns a journey here into a value on its own,” said Talisainen.


The festive Tourism Award Gala to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia will be held in the Estonia concert hall on the evening of 27 September.


Additional information:

Kristiina Talisainen

Project manager of Visit Estonia within Enterprise Estonia

Tel.: +372 528 8088



Mariann Lugus

Principal secretary of the Estonian Travel and Tourism Association

Tel.: +372 508 2334


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