Baltic Travel Marathon: Latvia

April 24, 2007 at 9:20 am | Posted in fairs and events, Latvia, list, travel | Leave a comment

Finally three Baltic states have chosen tourism objects, that will participate in the first Baltic travel marathon, that will start of 1st May.

Tourism objects from Latvia:

“Mežakaķis” adventure trails

Araisi lake fortress

Daugavpils fortress                                           Aglona Basilica

Additional information can be found No information about tourism objects from Lithuania and Estonia yet.

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Quite good start…E-hotel statistics

April 2, 2007 at 9:12 am | Posted in blogs, list, personal, statistics | 2 Comments

I started my blog 10 February, 2007 and it`s interesting to make some roundup how I`m doing so far. So, till this morning, 2 April, 2007:

  • total views: 521
  • best day ever: 76 (T-list posted)
  • posts: 52
  • comments: 17 (comments welcome, don`t be shy)
  • tags: 38 (hotels: 37, europe: 17, news: 14, travel: 13, photo: 11)

Top posts February-March:

  1. Ehotel`s T-list: 65 views
  2. Photos from ITB 2007: 20 views
  3. Photos from ITB 2007, part 2: 17 views
  4. Too bad it won`t be in Europe…: 15 views
  5. Best online hotel sites: 12 views [before post update]
  6. How the lovely hotel beds look like: 7 views
  7. 2006: Good year for Europe`s hotel industry and New hotel in Tallinn: 6 views each
  8. Rebirth of Moscow hotels and Top romantic hotel restaurants in Riga, Latvia: 5 views each
  9. Travel marathon in Baltics, Photos from Vivattour 2007, Vilnius, How competitive are Baltic states?, Photos from MITT 2007 and New way how to present a hotel: 4 views each
  10. Hotel in Dublin for ladies and gentleman, Some news not to miss, Few unique Europe hotels, I want to go to Croatia…, The Caterer Blog, Help guests in minus 30, So many news…, and Travelistic, Experience Rewards and other “strangers” or some useful stuff: 3 views each

There are definitely more views on each post, but that`s what You, my dear readers, have clicked to come to my blog or check out more on its content. THANK YOU!

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Ehotel`s T-List

March 15, 2007 at 10:07 am | Posted in blogs, internet, list, travel | 9 Comments

I have seen T-List in many blogs so far. Today I checked Travel in Blogs (mentioned by HappyHotelier) and there was T-List again and again… Travel in Blogs is a new project and seems like Digg for travel. [Update! For more about this site, check Happy Hoteliers post update. Thank`s for mentioning it in comments.]

Through Travel in Blogs I found Blog on Travel (kind of word play game, hah!) from which I took this T-List:

Les Explorers
Chrispitality Media Blog
A Luxury Travel Blog
Travel Rants
Travolution Blog
Erin Julian
My Travel Backpack
Happy Hotelier
The Travel PR Blog
The Tourism and Hospitality Diaries
Tourism Internet Marketing
Web2.0 Travel
The Informed Traveler – Luxury Hotels
Blog de viajes
ADV Italia
El blog de Albert Barra
Blog de Viajes
 ADR Italia
Tourisme et Internet

I add HotelChatter, Back of House in DXB (hotel stories from Dubai), At Home in Rome (life and travel in Rome), Family travel, Opus Hotel blog (alias General Manager`s Blog), Vagablogging, Holiday Pad 2.0, My Marakesh (life and travel in Morocco), The Front Desk, Tim Leffel`s Cheapest Destinations. That`s all for now. Maybe I should call this list T&H-List, `cause there are quite many hospitality blogs.

If You still don`t know the rules….

Here are the instructions:

– Write a post.
– Copy/paste the link list from the post you’ve discovered the T-List into it.
– Make sure the links are active and correct.
– If your blog is on the list, remove it’s not a self-promotion post.
Add your favorite tourism and travel blogs on it.
– Add the url of the blog where you’ve discovered the T-List as well.
– Publish the post.
– People will notice the T-List and continue it.

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How competitive are Baltic states?

March 7, 2007 at 3:59 pm | Posted in Estonia, Europe, Latvia, list, Lithuania, news, travel | 3 Comments

Such question I asked myself when World Economic Forum released its Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index. OK, I suppose everyone already knows that most competitive are Switzerland, Austria and Germany. Good for them. But where is Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, three Baltic sisters?

Lets see… Estonia is on 28. place with score 4.90, Lithuania – 51. place with score 4.34, Latvia – 53. place with score 4.31. Not very pleasant discovery.

Estonia has got the highest rank among its sisters for rules about investment, physicial density, hotel rooms (!), Internet use for business and lack of malaria. Estonia`s biggest disadvantages are air service agreements and carbon dioxide damage. Estonia`s Tourism Board has done much to develop tourism:

  • low-budget tourists are kept main priority, to make tourism grow steadily;
  • Estonia is branded as destination with a strong cultural heritage and traditional countryside getaways;
  • always keeps an eye on new tourist sources.

Lithuania`s biggest advantages: physician density, presence of major car rental companies and lack of malaria, biggest disadvantages: government prioritization of the T&T industry and attitude towards tourists. I think Lithuania is more about retail and oil and tourism is on the second or even lower place.

Latvia`s biggest advantages: presence of major car rental companies and lack of malaria, biggest disadvantages: air service agreements, primary education enrollment and attitude towards tourists. I`m not much into all this air transport staff so I can`t comment about it, but I can agree with other two problems. Latvia is among top countries when speaking of number of college and BA students, but at the same time there are lots of people without secondary education. Some businesses see tourists as cash cows (especially Old Riga`s restaurants and night clubs), this problem is already addressed in state`s level, but I don`t see how it may be changed.

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5 tips and info for feeling safe with your hotel keycard

February 24, 2007 at 11:44 am | Posted in hotels, list, tips | Leave a comment

An old mass e-mail in USA has made a myth, that hotels put guests personal information (including credit card number) on hotel keycards. It`s a myth! It doesn`t happen. Neither in USA nor in Europe. Hotel keycards are more safe than ordinary keys, because it`s not easy to open doors with electronic key system and keycard doesn`t have a room number on it.

What information keycards hold? Room number and check-in/check-out date (not visible). Sometimes also your name. That`s all.

How the keycard system works? Hotel can put information on keycard in two ways:

1) Hotel has reservation system with integrated key system. In such case, information to key goes automatically. As well as hotel employees may see when someone enters or leaves the room, if they have additional modul for such programm.

2) Hotel has separate key system. In such case, key is made with no connection to reservation system. Usually only check-in/check-out and room number is put on the card.

As I said keycards are more safe than usual keys, but You can make them more safe with these 5 tips:

1. Don`t keep the keycard in your wallet. I know, often keys are as small as credit cards and easy to put in wallet, but wallet can be stollen. There is small possibility than thief may try to open hotel rooms with your key and get lucky.

2. If possible, when leaving hotel, leave your keycard at reception, so You won`t loose it in crazy dance 🙂

3. Be accurate with your keycard. They do breake, they aren`t from metal.

4. At check-in ask receptionist what to do, if you loose or breake keycard to escape unpleasant moments afterwards.

5. And don`t leave your keycard outside the door (not all hotels have all in one hotel management system where you put your card in holder to switch on the light, so you might forget it in door locker.

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Where to show off your hotel

February 15, 2007 at 2:20 pm | Posted in Europe, fairs and events, hotels, list, Russia | Leave a comment

I have already written about two travel trade fairs Balttour 2007 (Latvia)  and Tourest 2007 (Estonia), but there are more travel fairs to come all over the world. Here is the list of most of Europe travel trade fairs according to Exponet:

  • February 21 – 25: Reise/Camping 2007 (Essen, Germany)
  • February 22 – 25: BIT 2007 (Milano, Italy)
  • February 22 – 26: C-B-R 2007 (Munich, Germany)
  • February 23 – 25: Golf 2007 (Essen, Germany) – for golf hotels and resorts
  • March 2 – 4: Basler Ferienmesse 2007 (Basel, Germany)
  • March 2 – 4: Where Cultures Meet 2007 (Lodz, Poland)
  • March 7 – 11: ITB Berlin 2007 (Berlin, Germany) – world`s leading travel fair
  • March 13 – 14: British Travel Trade Fair (Birmingham, GB)
  • March 15 – 18: World Tourism and Travel Fair (Paris, France)
  • March 29 – April 1: Travel 2007 (Budapest, Hungary)
  • April 17 – 19: IMEX 2007 (Frankfurt, Germany) – for conference centres
  • April 20 – 22: Lato 2007 (Warsaw, Poland)
  • September 20 – 22: Hotel 2007 (Branska Bystrica, Slovenia)
  • October 4 – 5: ICI 2007 (Milano, Italy) – for conference centres
  • Otober 12 – 13: Travel Trade Italia 2007 (Rimini, Italy)
  • Ocotber 17 – 20: Tourism Expo 2007 (Sophia, Bulgaria)
  • October 19 – 22: Wellness World Exibition 2007 (Milano, Italy) – for SPA hotels and resorts
  • November 1 – 4: Philoxenia 2007 (Thessaloniki, Greece)
  • November 12 – 15: World Travel Market 2007 (London, GB)

If I`ll be lucky, I go to ITB Berlin.

For those interested in travel fairs in Russia click here, for those interested in travel fairs in CIS, list is here. Te soonest fairs are Tourism.Leisure.Hotels 2007 (April 11 – 14, Kishinev, Moldova) and Baikaltour 2007 (February 28 – March 2, Irkutsk, Russia).

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Top romantic hotel restaurants in Riga, Latvia

February 14, 2007 at 2:49 pm | Posted in hotels, list, restaurants, reviews | Leave a comment

Latvian food&beverage magazine “Kurs uzsauks?” has listed Top 10 Riga`s romantic restaurants and caffees. 4 of them are hotel restaurants. Here is the list:

2nd place – Skyline Bar: Reval Hotel Latvia. If You want to feel close to the sky, then go there 🙂 Bar is located at the top of Reval Hotel building, centre of Riga. It`s hip, it`s expensive, it`s very modern.

3rd place – Bellevue: Maritim Park Hotel 11th floor. It`s more peacefull there than in city centre restaurants, very good international cuisine.

5th place – Hotel Bergs restaurant: Hotel Bergs. Hotel Bergs is one of the best boutique hotels in world. It`s all about elegance, status and luxury for real gourmets. You will feel like aristocrat here, just take Your platinum credit card with You…..

8th place – Star Lounge: Albert hotel. Beautiful and modern place. Not much to eat, but who is eating on first date? Not the best place if You want to run away from other tourists, because there are lots of them.

Contrary to some other countries where hotel restaurants are not regarded as places with best cousines in town, Riga`s hotel restaurants often are best of the best. They hire best chefs in Latvia and often from other countries as well, so the hotel restaurants have become trend setters for other Latvian restaurants. Bad thing – prices are high even for rich tourists.

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