On March 16, AmCham Travel & Tourism Committee met with the Ministry of Economic Affairs. We are very thankful for the Ministry for setting up the meeting and sharing their developments, plans and current situation with the Committee. At the meeting, the following people participated from the Ministry side:
- Martti Kalvik, MKM
- Ott Sarapuu, Estonian Tourist Board
- Kristiina Kästik, Estonian Tourist Board
AmCham participants included: 1. Bart Westerhout, AmCham T&T Committee Chairman, GM of Swissotel Tallinn (in CC) 2. Kadri Karu, ECB 3. Flemming Poulsen, GM of Radisson Blu Sky Hotel 4. Svea Puusepp, Tallink 5. Katrin Küünemäe, Tallink 6. Michael Burich, Meriton Family Estate 7. Merike Hallik, CWT 8. Alo Jürgenstein, GM of AVIS in the Baltics 9. Daria Sivovol, AmCham MD 10. Katre Paulman, AmCham Marketing & Membership
The meeting agenda included:
- Overview of the Marketing Priorities/Activities of the Estonian Tourist Board
- An in-depth overview of current activities on the US market
- Presentation of the Amcham T&T Position Paper and Main Issues
The Committee was happy to hear that many of the recommendations are on the Ministry’s agenda and they are actively working on them. For example, the critical need of a convention center, promotion of Estonia as “more than Tallinn”, promoting and selling Estonia to the US market.
There were also some concerns mentioned at the meeting by the Committee:
- The importance of not going through with the accommodation service VAT increase
- Taxation issues and lack of Immigration support to visitors from outside of the EU and outside of the Schengen Area
We hope to get some feedback to those issues soon!
A big thank you to the AmCham Travel & Tourism Committee for their contribution and active involvement with the position paper and taking it to the policy makers. Also, we thank the team from the Ministry of Economic Affairs for their input and responsiveness to our policy papers and recommendations!