What do Eurovision, the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, and TechChill conference have in common? They've all taken place in Latvia! Not a new point on the MICE tourism map, but growing bolder, Latvia is an affordable, accessible and reliable choice.
Here's what makes it special.
- If you haven't heard much about us it's because we're busy doing. We let our actions and achievements speak for us and enjoy surprising the world with moments like winning the first ever gold medal for men's 3x3 basketball at the 2020 Olympics.
- We have a daring spirit. Of course, we have rules and regulations, implement strategies and manage expectations, but we're not afraid to step outside the box. Latvia's a small market. Being creative and open to experiments sets us apart and keeps us innovating. This is the place to bring “wild” ideas to life, like building an artificial island for experiential overnight retreats, or making edible instead of disposable dishware for events.
- With a population of less than two million, it's no exaggeration to say everyone knows everyone in Latvia. The right person is just a couple of calls, tweets or emails away, which saves time and energy.
- Nothing is ever far and we don't really know what traffic jams are. Riga International Airport is a 20 minute drive from the city centre. So is the beach. And the forest. Nowhere in Latvia is more than four hours by car from Riga. For event organisers this means access to not just one location, but numerous opportunities within close proximity of each other.
- We go with the times, embracing technology and looking for ways it can improve our daily lives. The Covid-19 pandemic let us hone our skills in organising hybrid or phygital events. Internet speeds, accessibility of the latest tech and skilled multilingual staff make Latvia a dependable host destination.
- We live in tune with nature. The four distinct seasons influence what we do and put on our plates. Foraging, winter swimming and gardening are popular pastimes. We've also grown to love beach volleyball thanks to the 500 kilometres of seaside we have to enjoy. Not to mention all the rivers and lakes for boating, trails for hiking and cycling. The dream for incentive tourism.
- Sustainability is not a new concept for us. Many of us grew up growing our own produce, making and repairing things with our own hands out of necessity. Craftsmanship is alive and flourishing. We have skills to share. And we're resilient by experience.
- The past is visible. Our built heritage, traditions and habits tell the story of our land and its people. For event organisers this translates to a vast range of venues, social and edutainment programmes. Conferences in medieval castle courtyards, grand galas in baroque ballrooms, corporate meetings and incentives at manor estates turned hotels, and teambuilding at a former Soviet bunker - it's all possible.
- Accessibility. Riga International Airport is the largest in the Baltic states. Riga is two hours and 15 minutes from Frankfurt, just under seven hours from Dubai and one hour from Helsinki. We're well and truly connected to the world. Ferries connect Latvia to Sweden and north Germany. Bus travel is common between Baltic and CIS states, and rail travel is an option for arrival from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.
Latvia isn't among the world's leading MICE tourism destinations just yet, but we're confident we have what it takes. If you're up for trying somewhere new or have already experienced our hospitality, we look forward to hearing from you and helping bring your event to Latvia.