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A recent trip throughout Latvia, starting at the Western Coast in Liepaja and covering Kuldiga, Rundale, Daugavpils, Rezekne, Cesis and Riga revealed a range of great products in the small country, quite unknown to the MICE industry and with a lot of charm. Just right for today’s trends — looking for authenticity, true experiences and a human scale of offers.

Latvia has all of this and much more. The slogan Magnetic Latvia matches very well the way developments come along in this country. Like throwing stones in the water, a circle builds around micro hubs in the different destinations and expands from those central initiatives. These can be smaller cities or reconstructed grand Manor Houses or Art Centres that really work as “magnets” in their local communities — initiating and organizing cultural programs, festivals, co-creation workshops and more initiatives to support and develop the local communities.

These hubs also offer outstanding and creative hotel space and event venues, great food and a stunning nature that is unspoiled and lush, with natural rivers, more storks than I have ever seen somewhere and lots of wildlife.

Both established and upcoming smaller brands are developing everywhere. They produce handcrafted souvenirs, food items from local produce, and there are many great carpenters and oak wood works to be admired in buildings and shops. Ceramic and pottery artists produce and exhibit contemporary and traditional potteries and in some cases interactive experiences with the artists in their workshops are possible.

Most initiatives are rather small-scale, but driven with passion. Young people learn old techniques and knowledge. Young families and also single professionals move out of the capital to live on the countryside. With Latvia being an IT and service industry minded society, this is easy for them to work from home and enjoy a relaxed lifestyle.

Latvia has over 12 thousand rivers that stretch for 38,000 kilometres, as well as 2,256 lakes with a collective area of 1000 sq.km. Eastern Latvia, where many of these lakes are found, is known as the Land of the Blue Lakes. Nearly all inland waters are ideally suited for swimming and fishing and allow team building and nature experiences. Experiential MICE program designs include reaching out to the fashion and art scene, to well-known architects involved in creative reconstruction projects and to the discovery of an innovative food explorations.

And — best of all — Latvia is affordable and offers true value for money.

Following are the topics that you will read about in the new series on Latvia and Riga — it is worthwhile to explore them and pick those which are most relevant to your kind of business. You will be able to source some true gems for fresh and new destinations for your Incentive trips or Meetings!

  • Latvia for Intl. Congresses and Conferences
  • Magnetic Latvia – Experiential Hubs for Rebuilding, Architecture and Design
  • Destination Latvia – an abundance of water and nature
  • Sport in Latvia: infrastructure, events and education
  • Arts and Artists — experiencing, discovering and learning about art in Latvia
  • New hotels and restaurants open in Riga and across the country

For any requests you have or help that you require for putting together a MICE program for your clients, contact:

Ieva Gredzena, LIAA (Investment and Development Agency of Latvia) email: Ieva.Gredzena@liaa.gov.lv

Aigars Smiltans of MeetRiga, email: aigars.smiltans@liveriga.lv

Or contact me at tmf dialogue marketing, Johanna Fischer email j.fischer@tmf-dialogue.com