Organization of a national competition “The New Tourism Product” to promote the recognition of Latvian tourism offer & the most successful new tourism products.
For several years already, Latvian tourism board is organizing a national competition “The New Tourism Product”.
The aim of the competition is to promote the recognition of the Latvian tourism offer and to promote the most successful new tourism products that are experiential, sustainable, innovative, high quality, that provide a high value to the tourist attractions and are suitable for the needs of foreign tourists, according to the Latvian Tourism Marketing Strategy target audiences.
The requirements for tourism products to apply for the competition – they must focus on sustainability, have an experiential type of product and, of course, have to be new. The jury consists of tourism experts and professionals and they visit the products on site.
The winners of this national competition have the possibility to go on an experience exchange trip abroad to learn from a foreign best practice that is performing a similar product. During these visits the new entrepreneurs learn how to improve their current products and learn innovative ideas to boost the competition.
Apart from that, the national competition itself attracts interest from tourism media and local potential visitors, so the products receive publicity and more tourists as a result.
Main stakeholders and beneficiaries of the practice are the tourism enterprises and product developers that present the new tourism product and tourism board that learns about new products.
The only resources needed are to cover the costs of the award ceremony and the experience exchange visits for the winners.
Evidence of success
Entrepreneurs and product developers that have won the national competition and participated in the experience exchange trips, have afterwards improved their products based on lessons learned. For example, the 2015 finalist Gulbene municipality presented a new product – an integrated tour around the town with the main highlights and, in particularly, the renovated museum for their unique narrow-track railway train. Three years later (2018), Gulbene municipa
Potential for learning or transfer
A stimulating competition to boost innovation for experiential tourism products with the award of learning good practice, is a great way to, first, improve the quality of tourism products and, second, to promote new products and have extra publicity for them.