On 1 November, the Krustpils Castle, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Zemgale Tourism Association, hosted a tourism conference and, for the first time in the region's history, the Zemgale Tourism Award ceremony. Out of 46 candidates, 21 nominees were nominated in six categories. Six nominees from Aizkraukle were nominated, four of them won the main prize and two - the Certificate of Recognition.
The main prize winners from Aizkraukle:
The winners in the five nominations were decided by the jury, and in the "Zemgale Golden Dukat" nomination - by the citizens' vote. The event organisers inform that voters had to justify why they wanted to give their Golden Ducat to a particular tourism enterprise. Minizoo "Karlīna" from Vietalva parish won 50% of the votes, beating other contenders for this nomination - the Caramel Workshop (Jelgava), Krustpils Castle and Jēkabpils History Museum (Jēkabpils region), Ausekļu Dzirnavas Open-Air Museum (Bauska region), Nākotnes Park (Jelgava region) and the "Latvia's State Forests" Nature Park in Tērvete (Dobele region).
The main prize was a clock made of wood, a product of Zemgale craftsmen, symbolising what has been achieved in the past and the way forward for the future.
The finalists in the "Golden Spoon of Zemgale" nomination were Cafe Panna in Koknese, and in the "Golden Cushion of Zemgale" nomination - the guest house "Divas upes" from Koknese. These companies received a Certificate of Recognition at the award ceremony.
For its contribution to the promotion of tourism opportunities in the region and in Zemgale, the Zemgale Tourism Association awarded the certificate of recognition "Zemgale Golden Light Bearer" to the Aizkraukle Tourism Information Centre.
The award was organised and financed by the association "Zemgale Tourism Association" with the aim to highlight and award the best, most unique, diversified and exportable tourism service providers operating in the tourism industry of Zemgale and contributing to the overall visibility and image of the region.
"We are glad that Aizkraukle region was the winner of the Tourism Award ceremony. We are proud and happy for the entrepreneurs of Aizkraukle region!" says Leons Līdums, Chairman of the Aizkraukle Regional Council.
"We are very pleased with the results, the performance of the county's tourism businesses, the quality of the services provided and the appreciation throughout the vast Zemgale region! Four out of the six main awards confirm that well-known and in-demand tourism service providers - both caterers and accommodation providers, as well as active recreation service companies - are successfully working in Aizkraukle Municipality," says Anita Šmite, Head of the Aizkraukle Municipality Tourism Information Centre. "Recently, representatives of 22 Latvian tour operators visited Aizkraukle to explore tourism offers from Riga to Jēkabpils. They also highly appreciated the region's tourism offers, including Koknese and Skrīveri, and said that they are worth including in tour operators' itineraries, offering them not only to Latvian but also to foreign tourists."
Photo and text: Aizkraukle Municipality Public Relations Department