A town hugged by water, Jurmala sits on the shores of the river Lielupe, the Gulf of Riga and Lake Sloka. Long established as a spa and wellness resort, even the names of major Jurmala hotels like Hotel Jurmala Spa, Baltic Beach Hotel and Lielupe Hotel by Semarah establish the town's reputation among holidaymakers. But the Jurmala of today is also a cultural hub and home to an active and entrepreneurial population in a landscape dotted with dunes, towering pine trees, and architectural landmarks. Alongside hotels, Jurmala's long list of venues includes a functioning 1970s modernism style railway station, the legendary open-air Dzintari Concert Hall, and a romantic summer cottage, which tells the love and life story of its former owners, Latvian literary greats Rainis and Aspazija. At just 15 minutes’ drive from Riga International Airport, Jurmala is a lively yet relaxed and self-sufficient alternative to the Latvian capital.
A tranquil but invigorating setting for events and conferences
In 2019 Jurmala played host to the four-day EUROPARC international conference with 370 participants. “Jurmala is very appealing from a nature perspective,” says organiser Agnese Balandiņa, head of the Nature Education Centre at Latvia’s Nature Conservation Agency. “One can experience a wide range of ecosystems - forests, a river, the sea and grasslands - and a number of unique natural healing resources.”
Multiple practical aspects also encouraged the Nature Conservation Agency and fellow event organisers to choose the town. Jurmala hotels can accommodate over 3000 people with many rooms overlooking the Baltic Sea. Local caterers can feed large crowds, serving Latvian, Georgian, Jewish and other cuisines. Options for entertainment include company olympics or concerts on the beach, and the less conventional bog-shoeing or smoking fish at the Jurmala Open Air Museum.
In the words of Balandiņa, Jurmala is “a comfortable and professional working environment where the presence of nature, history and sunshine sparks constructive debate, inspires fresh ideas and commitment to new goals.”
Nature and natural resources at heart of Jurmala's development
Indeed, Jurmala is well aware of its natural resources - healing mud, mineral waters and nature areas - and the potential they bring. As per the council's strategy for 2010 - 2030, development will be based around three pillars - residents, resort town and diversifying business areas - to ensure sustainability and the protection of key assets. Developing services around the natural resources and events sector is intended to combat the current seasonality of tourism in Jurmala.
Already now, two of the town's largest employers are rehabilitation and wellness centres, and Jurmala represents Latvia in the European Spas Association. Health tourism is thriving. Work is underway on the interactive and educational Kemeri Nature Tourism Centre, which will be a new spatial anchor for Jurmala, driving tourism into its periphery.
Jurmala combines established infrastructure with a pristine natural environment. If that sounds like the right balance for your event, contact the tourism information centre and get the ball rolling!
! Note that any non-governmental organisation or company registered at the Enterprise Register of the Republic of Latvia can apply for co-financing to host an event in Jurmala!
Jurmala Tourism Information Centre