A successful year
As with the rest of the tourism sector, we experienced an increase in the number of visitors among both domestic and foreign target groups. The share of visitors who required accommodation in the hotel increased by as much as a quarter. As a result, our average annual utility rate was 39%. Our seminar clients became active in late autumn – we would like to extend our gratitude to our long-term partners! Our loyal customers were able to enjoy our restaurant’s frequent special offers, which were made available all the more often due to the fact that 2011 was a great year for berries and mushrooms. Our hotel and restaurant received the Green Key eco-label.
The number of visitors received by the museum also increased by a similar percentage and the museum shop continued to be popular among the visitors. Although we have widened our selection of items year on year, we have stayed true to our principles – we only sell souvenirs and books that have been made in Estonia and are related to the forest and nature. We had approximately 32,000 visitors in our museum in 2011, but we could add to this number the thousands of people who visited the Forest Year exhibits in Estonia’s largest shopping centres. It is also noteworthy that our exhibition“Mets toidab” (“The forest feeds”) was rated among the top three permanent exhibitions at the Estonian Museum Awards ceremony.
In the second half of the year, we began renovating our Nature School with the help of European Structural Funds. Despite this, more than 7,000 students took part in our nature education programmes!
Of course, we must not overlook our success in the competition “The Undiscovered Treasures of Estonia 2011. Tourism and Restored Historical Sites” (EDEN), where we received first prize together with our neighbours – Palmse Manor and Vihula Manor. It was our successful collaboration that helped us on our way to victory. Furthermore, the tourism development centre of Enterprise Estonia acknowledged the excellent work we had done together with tourism agencies.
This year is the year for nature tourism. We are already expanding our selection of nature-themed packages and will add several interesting programmes, tours and additional services to our existing selection. The new year will be an exciting one for us as well as our guests!