Latvia promotes health tourism

The Latvian Health Tourism Cluster has launched a new promotion for 2014. In cooperation with Latvia’s resorts association the cluster has created a marketing brochure to promote the area, treatment, clinics, hospitals, spas, hotels and tour operators. It explains the specialities of each health destination.

Two targeted groups are English speaking Western Europeans and Russian speakers from Russia and the other CIS states, So, the brochure has been published in Russian and English languages, and will be distributed at foreign medical tourism fairs, professional exhibitions, workshops and conferences. The print run of the brochure is 6,000 copies and it was created with the support of the Latvian Tourism Development Agency.

Latvia believes it has advantages in both medical and health tourism with high product and service quality, professional medical staff, modern technological equipment to ensure services, and much lower prices than most European countries. Most destinations have both English and Russian speaking medical staff, so there is no language barrier. The problem Latvia has to overcome is that it is a little known tourist destination, and many people may be unsure as to where exactly it is.

Jurmala is the first city in Latvia to receive resort status. The government recently granted the status of a resort city to a part of Jurmala’s administrative territory, but not parts in Brazciems, Priedaine and Varnukrogs. The idea is that the new status will help attract local and foreign investment in the infrastructure and will promote the health tourism services of Jurmala in domestic and foreign markets.

To obtain resort status, a number of conditions must be met – within the resort there are natural healing resources, at least one resort’s clinic is operating in a territory of a resort, and natural healing resources are used in the operation of the clinic. Environmental quality indicators must meet the statutory requirements; it must have an appropriate tourism infrastructure. Jūrmala has a range of natural healing resources to improve health and prevent diseases, as well as for rehabilitation and healing.

Jurmala is the largest resort city in the Baltic States and well known for its mild climate, sea, healthy air, curative mud and mineral water. The attractions of Jurmala include a 33 km long white sand beach, a large pine forest and the natural border of the city – the river Lielupe. People go there to recover and strengthen their health by enjoying the healing effect of mud bathing and mineral waters.