On Wednesday, June 27, Chairman of the Riga City Council Nils Ushakovs gave a speech on the Mayor forum in Beijing, where the cities’ long term development forum takes places. Mayors from Beijing, Washington, Bangkok, Budapest, Kishinev, Copenhagen, Tel Aviv and other cities participate in this event.
«In 2009, in order to ensure a successful and stable development of the city, the local government proposed to make social support of residents in the widest possible meaning. Social support – is social aid, the local government’s housing program, the successful municipal police and the large-scale school and kindergarten repair program,»- says Ushakovs.
He addressed the role of Riga as the cultural metropolitan of the Baltic region and the significance of the Cultural Capital of Europe 2014 project, during which a large-scale program of cultural events will be realized in Riga. Tourist attraction has the utmost importance in this project. As the experience of other cities shows, the status of a cultural capital helps increase the flow of tourists and helps preserve it in the following years (three years usually), representative of the Department of Public Relations of Riga City Council Anna Kononova reports.
«Riga will fight for Chinese tourists,»- said Ushakov on Tuesday, June 26, during his meeting with the administration of the World Federation of Tourist Cities and representatives of China’s travel companies. An agreement was reached during the meeting that Riga will become one of the co-founders if the World Federation of Tourist Cities. This federation unites 27 cities of the world and 17 cities of China.
«According to projections, around 100 million tourists from China will be traveling around the world in the nearest future. And we need to work, to make sure that some part of these tourists visits Latvia. This is why it is important to become one of the co-sounders of the World Federation of Tourist Cities in Beijing,»- says the Mayor of Riga.
Representatives of Chinese travel companies said that China lacks accurate information about Latvia right now, but considering the fact that the Chinese actively travel and like being in new places, Riga could prove to be an interesting place to visit. They also noted the necessity to develop both direct and charter flights. Other Baltic, Scandinavian and Russian cities are also an interesting destination for Chinese tourists; some of these destinations have direct and charter flight connection with Latvia.
During the meeting, it was also decided that Riga will participate in the first assembly of the World Federation of Tourist Cities in Beijing in September. Until then, the Riga Tourism Development Bureau will need to develop special information materials for the Chinese market.
Ushakovs will be in Beijing until July 2.