Rural Tourism organisations in Baltic Sea region
Partners from 4 neighboring countries in the Northern Europe on the shores of the Baltic Sea have joined together with the aim to develop and promote the Rural Lifestyle products in the Central Baltic Sea region: Söderhamn (Sweden), Åland Islands & Lohja (Finland), Estonia and Latvia.
"Lauku ceļotājs" is a Country Tourism Association based in Latvia, established in 1993. The association unites small family-run accommodation and service providers in the Latvian countryside. Since then, the organisation has grown in size, and has varied and developed its products to include all three Baltic States. Through many years of operation, great relationships have been established with suppliers, and visitors benefit from this extensive local knowledge and personal service.
Established in January 2000, the non-profit organisation Estonian Rural Tourism (ERTO) represents the common interests of rural tourism providers in order to support the development of countryside tourism in Estonia. ERTO with its members forms a rural tourism cluster comprising rural tourism accommodation providers, active tourism providers, rural SMEs in agricultural and production sectors, travel associations, schools teaching tourism and others. The organisation works closely with a range of tourism umbrella organisations and stakeholders.
Visitlohja is a regional tourism office in southern Finland. Visitlohja is run by the city of Lohja and co-operating with local tourism entrepreneurs and associations. Their common target is to develop the best possible tourism experience for visitors. Products and services offered include good accommodation in a rural atmosphere. A unique part is to make your own food in the forest to high end cuisine in awarded restaurants and activities – from small hikes in pristine nature to glass blowing in the world renowned Fiskars Village. The region is situated right next to Helsinki and can therefore provide an unrivalled combination of the Finnish lifestyle, culture and nature.
Visit Söderhamn’s mission is to make Söderhamn an attractive destination to visit and experience all year round. Their work takes place in close collaboration with the business community and associations, to develop, profile and market Söderhamn as a destination. Visit Söderhamn provides brochures, maps and digital information and helps with the booking of activities and accommodation in Söderhamn and Hälsingland. A tourist information office is located in central Söderhamn and is open during the summer. Visit Söderhamn also has 5 Info Points strategically located around Söderhamn, tourist service places where the visitor can get tourist information.
Gauja National Park Tourism Cluster with the brand name “Enter Gauja” was created in 2012 to strengthen tourism destination and enhance its competitiveness in international markets. Today the Cluster combines a wide range of tourism entrepreneurs. Many small businesses have grown and developed and are now well known locally, regionally and internationally. Overnight stays have increased by 30% and Gauja National Park is now the second most visited tourist destination in Latvia after Riga, with more than 1,000,000 visitors a year.
Företagsam Skärgård (Enterprising Archipelago) is a non-profit organisation established in 2007 to support the development of the region of the Åland Islands archipelago and it’s 6 archipelago municipalities in the around 40 inhabited islands in its area. Several development projects are being undertaken and Företagsam Skärgård maintains a good communication network to important actors in the archipelago, as well as to related archipelago areas in Europe.