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Rural Lifestyle tourism products presented at JATA online travel market

On November 10-12, 2021 the Rural Lifestyle product was presented to Japanese travel trade at JATA online travel market by Asnāte Ziemele, Latvian country tourism association. Virtual meetings with eight companies helped to gain an overall picture on what changes Japanese travel industry is undergoing now and what is their interest in our destination and Rural Lifestyle tourism product.

The pandemic situation has left a severe impact on travel industry in Japan. Many tour operator companies have closed down. At the same time, digital sales platforms appear as a new sector in the travel trade. Travel agencies tend to work directly with tour operators in our destinations. Also individual travellers present a highly potential market sector. 

Nobody knows when the travelling will return, however, in the meantime, companies are working on their programmes to be ready for restart and are looking for tourism products that suit their customer profiles. All the companies met online were very interested to receive the Rural Lifestyle product manual. Their interest is high in nature tours, including berry and mushroom picking, hiking, culinary experiences and other package tours. The customer profile includes seniors and expected group sizes vary between 10 and 40. 

In previous efforts, Finland, Sweden, Estonia and Latvia have managed to create common rural tourism products under brands GO RURAL (FI, EE, LV) and Rural Lifestyle (SE, FI, EE, LV). The product has been brought up to the quality that meets the market expectations. It has been successfully promoted in Japanese market, achieved recognition, trust and sales in a very short period of time. The present situation calls for up-scaling in order to bring the previous achievements to a new and higher level according to the market trends. Ideally, a common digital rural tourism booking and payment platform that is common for Latvia, Estonia, Finland, including Aland islands, and Sweden would be a solution to help the market and the product meet. Such rural tourism products are accommodation, local culture experiences, master classes in food, nature experiences, etc. The present level of rural tourism product quality and service provider experience makes the product suitable for digital sales channels. A digital booking platform would help to save time and effort for travel trade and individual customers, reducing the supply chain and making the final cost more competitive and attractive for customers. 


The project “Rural Lifestyle - Creating attractive rural lifestyle destinations” (CB906) is part-financed by the European Union and European Regional Development Fund Central Baltic Programme.

This publication reflects the views of the author(s). The Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


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