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New brand created for promoting Riga – Live Riga

By Editor. 01.10.2009

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  In establishing the Riga Tourism Development Bureau (RTAB), a new Riga city brand LIVE RIGA has been created to promote Riga overseas as a Nordic metropolis.

The RTAB, whose founders and shareholders are the Riga City Council, national airline airBaltic, the Latvian Hotel and Restaurant Association and the Latvian Travel Agents’ Association, will now on be responsible for the strategic planning and implementation of Riga tourism development.

The foundation has nominated the principle ‘What’s good for Riga’s residents is good for tourists’ as the motif for its activities and the new Riga brand.

Ainārs Šlesers, Riga’s Deputy Mayor, commented ‘the development of tourism in Riga requires effective and professional action, a completely new approach. I am convinced that the new bureau will demonstrate that Riga can be a worthy member of the top cities league and ensure a quantum leap in our city’s development. It will be the best city for us, the residents of Riga. Riga does not need a fragmented tourism-promotion structure. Riga does not need one-off advertising campaigns lacking a clear purpose beyond self-promotion.’

‘Riga is airBaltic’s most important city. Riga is our home base. We also see a future here, both for us as a company and for Riga as a northern metropolis. That is why airBaltic is investing our intellectual and financial resources, so that Riga can fulfil its true tourism potential’ added Bertolt Flick, President and CEO, airBaltic.

Recognising that passenger numbers had fallen rapidly this year, it was natural for airBaltic to act very quickly and it has already implemented the first initiative, a contribution to a faster start-up for the RTAB.

Ten internationally known creative agencies were invited to participate in a two-month-long competition for the right to develop an image for the city of Riga and execute its marketing communication programme. The winner is German agency Embassy who are known for creating the image for the city of Berlin.

Getting Riga’s residents involved in marketing activities will also be one of the tasks of the RTAB, helping it achieve its most significant objective: raising the awareness of Riga and increasing travellers’ knowledge so that they make specific decisions to visit Riga. Consequently, revenues will increase for the tourism industry, the city and Latvia overall. The Bureau will develop contemporary and dynamic communication with both potential tourists and with Riga’s residents. The RTAB will promote Riga’s image as an attractive leisure and business tourism destination.

The first people to be exposed to Riga’s new brand and its communication will be those in the most important target markets – Germany, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Russia, Ukraine, also Lithuania and Estonia.

Slesers told that, as an outcome of such active promotion, the proportion of the tourism sector to GDP will increase by 15-20% a year, that each additional million tourists will mean the creation of 10 000 new jobs and that tourism exports will increase. Increased turnover in the tourism sector improves the development prospects for a string of related businesses – the organisers of cultural and arts events, restaurants and bars, concert promoters, transport service providers and others.

For 2009, the Bureau’s operations will be financially secured by the Riga City Council who have allocated one million lats to it. This is mostly intended for developing an overseas advertising campaign for Riga as well as for creating attractive tourism products and promoting corporate tourism.


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