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Latvia's top new tourism product 2018 announced


The winners of Latvia's "Top new tourism product 2018" competition are the former servants' quarters at Mazmežotne Manor, Riga Motor Museum and the Railway and Steam educational and interactive centre in Gulbene. 

“Every city tries to stand out with something unique in the global context. Also in Latvia, we have a fair few things to be proud of," comments Inese Sirava, the director of the Tourism Department at the Investment and Development, which organises the competition. 

To determine this year's winning product, the jury evaluated the nominees in terms of their sustainability, innovative solutions, added value, use of local cultural and natural resources, and suitability for international visitors.

Sirava describes the winning Mazmezotne Manor: "It ticks all the right boxes, it's what people are really looking for these days. A great place to rest and reconnect with yourself, where heritage and history have been respected."

The second place award went to Riga Motor Museum and the third went to the Railway and Steam centre in Gulbene, which also won the most public votes. Sirava remarks that the Gulbene team has done a fantastic job in getting so many local entrepreneurs and universities involved in the project without having to rely on EU funding to bring the centre to life. 

About the winners 

The former servants' quarters at Mazmezotne Manor opened their doors in 2017 and operate as a hotel. Guests can get to know the history of the manor and the area through interactive displays.

With over 100 pieces on show, Riga Motor Museum houses the largest collection of antique vehicles in the Baltics. Since re-opening in 2016, the museum has won international awards both for its architecture and exposition. 

The Railway and Steam centre in the former Gulbene station building is the "youngest" entrant having only opened its doors in autumn 2018 in honour of the narrow gauge railways 115th birthday. Visitors can try their hand at numerous activities and learn about the importance of the railway to the local community. 

Seven other products got through to the second round of the competition: 

  • Baltais Čiekurs (White Pine Cone) holiday home 
  • 7 Balles (7 points) creative workshops 
  • Vakars uz ezera (Dinner on the Lake) pop-up restaurant concept 
  • Avārijas Brigāde adventure park 
  • Tīklu parks net adventure park 
  • Alūksne Bānītis Station 
  • Shmakovka Museum.