Tartu. The Estonian Convention Bureau has launched an ambassador programme in the country's main university city, Tartu. The first project of its kind in Estonia, the programme will recruit local academics and business people to act as partners in attracting international conferences to the city. Similar programmes implemented in other European cities have been highly effective, sometimes accounting for as many as 70% of conferences in their markets, according to the ECB's managing director, Riine Tiigi.
“Through our conference ambassador programme, we hope to secure a much greater number of world-class conferences for Tartu in the years to come,” she said. Tiigi added that the ECB chose Tartu as the location for its first ambassador programme because of its “high potential as a conference destination thanks to the presence of Tartu University and several other educational institutions.”
She also pointed out that the city now has the advantage of international flight connections. This summer Estonian Air and AirBaltic began operating regular routes from Stockholm and Riga respectively. A reception for the launch took place on Wednesday, October 21 at the city's prime conference venue, the Dorpat Centre. The ECB organised the event in cooperation with the Tartu City Government and the Tartu Convention Bureau. It was attended by over 130 guests, including many university faculty. Invitations for the launch were sent out by the city's mayor, Urmas Kruuse. www.ecb.ee