Exciting traveller’s stories and inspirational speakers at Balttour 2024!

Kristīne Virsnīte, Zane Eniņa, Juris Smaļinskis, Gundega Skudriņa, Aigars Lauzis, Ilona Balode: these are only some of the storytellers who will join the largest travel industry tradeshow in the Baltics, the Balttour 2024, in Ķīpsala on 3-4 February. Awe-inspiring adventure seekers, celebrities and travel professionals will take the stage to share their captivating stories and experiences. Come to “Traveller’s stories” for your inspiration!
Travelling “on the roof”
“We travel ‘on the roof’! It is a mode of travelling that has given us plenty of joy, many unforgettable memories and sense of freedom that I absolutely need to avoid feeling miserable,” says the Instagram post of Kristīne Virsnīte. Have you ever experienced camping in the tent on the roof of a car? You can find out what it means to travel by car and sleep in a roof tent if you join the social media content-creator and co-owner of Baltic Overlanders Kristīne Virsnīte on 3 February on Balttour’s the main stage at 11:00. Moreover, family of Kristīne Virsnīte often travels with their children. Kristīne will share her experience of travelling with everything you might need along the way, the must-haves for every traveller and safety as you make your journey. Kristīne is not shy about the thrill and diversity of opportunity such mode of travelling can give an adventure seeker.

From adventure to invention
Designer Aigars Lauzis spent four years on the road, travelling from London to Tokyo and making almost 30,000 km along the way on his bicycle. This adventure even inspired him to create a different, a more sustainable travelling experience. Aigars’ dream of building BeTriton amphibious camper-trike materialised in 2020. It has already generated considerable attention worldwide. Aigars Lauzis, inventor and co-founder of BeTRITON, will take the Balttour main stage on 3 February and 4 February at 12:00 to explain how BeTRITON amphibious camper-trike was developed. Moreover, the unique subject of his story, a vehicle that will give you plenty of excitement both on dry land and in the water, will be on display at Ķīpsala Expo Centre throughout all three days of the trade show.

Role of travelling in well-being
Element of surprise and inspiration are the signature features of projects by dazzling Gundega Skudriņa and her creative agency “Skudras metropole”. These are the qualities that have given her and the agency also international acclaim. Her nature gallery concept invites us to experience the many dimension of nature – nature as healing for the soul, nature as source of sensations, nature as piece of art or design. Her summer project “Untamed lodgings” gives you an opportunity to experience different, less conventional accommodation, for example, on a floating platform in the middle of picturesque Mordanga lake. Event organiser Gundega Skudriņa will take the main stage of Balltour trade show on 3 February at 13:00 to explain more how this project, and travelling in general, affects your well-being.

Long-distance hiking trails

Juris Smaļinskis hiked the Baltic coastline of all three countries already when it was still partly a closed high-security border area. More recently, when marking of the longest hiking route in the Baltics began with BeachTrail (E9) and ForrestTrail (E11), Juris assembled a small group of hikers to complete the route. He marked the area, developed routes and maps, and that is why hiking fans deservedly call Juris the father of both trails.
You can meet Juris Smaļinskis, biologist, travel and environmentalist, Latvian Country Tourism Association “Lauku Ceļotājs/Rural traveller”, on the main stage of Balttour on Saturday, 3 February, at 14:00, where he will share his stories about BeachTrail and ForrestTrail, both of which have become strong staples among the enthusiasts of the sport. Juris will also hint to some new trails that will become available soon. By the way, did you know that Baltic States, which last year were found to be some of the most sustainable travel destinations globally by Lonely Planet, currently have two international ultra trails?

One goal: Santiago de Compostela
“Santiago’s Way: band-air for your feet and heart” is the title of one of the books authored by traveller Zane Eniņa. It is also precisely what this journey is all about. It is like a crash-course in life, a walk that will give you what you need instead of what you want… . If you want to become a pilgrim* and have decided to join others on Santiago’s Way, come see Zane Eniņa, book author, inspirational explorer and blogger, on the main stage of Balttour on 3 February at 16:00. She will tell you all about Santiago’s Way: best routes, how to prepare and why join this incredible journey. By the way, Zane has travelled to more than 80 countries, mostly back-packing and staying with locals, hitchhiking, working as volunteer and doing other things that locals do to get to know them better. *Buen camino!

Busker’s notes

Actress, writer and musician Ilona Balode will take the main stage of Balttour on 4 February, at 13:00, to share her most exciting journey’s prior to terrible accident of her partner Ūdrītis or Rolands Ūdris, and after that. She also talks about both periods in her second book “Busker’s notes”. These periods alternate in her life and lives of her near and dear ones, creating an intertwined series of careless travels, living easy, artistic impressions of the world and global processes with harsh, existentially deep reflections on our being and purpose as humans. From stealing strawberries and hedonism to serious contemplation of what it means to be someone with special needs, pain and death.

And that is not all!

On 3 February, Turība University will offer trade show visitors a master class ‘Journey into being posh’, while on 4 February Latvian Association of Castles, palaces and manors will bring you back in time and immerse you into unique atmosphere of castles, palaces and manors. More information about Traveler’s stories events available here: www.balttour.lv/program.php#events

Discover new travel opportunities with Balttour 2024 tourism trade fair!
The largest travel industry trade show and fair Balttour 2024 will take place at Ķīpsala Expo Centre on 2-4 February 2024, bringing you travel opportunities to long and short distance destinations operated by around 300 exhibiting companies from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Albania, Georgia, Italy, Montenegro, Cyprus, Spain, Slovakia, Ukraine, Hungary, Germany and many other countries. This year, as usual, Latvia’s leading tour operators, such as Tez Tour, Novatours, and travel agents, including Estravel, Nikos Travel, Interlux Travel and many more, will offer visitors of Ballttour very lucrative deals on tours and travel, accommodation services. Whereas best hiking trails and observation platforms, hotels and guest houses, cycling and boating routes, old towns and parks, castles, palaces and manors, nature parks and museums, culinary destinations from all regions of Latvia will be presented by Kurzeme, Zemgale, Vidzeme and Latgale themselves.

Exhibition is organised by the Association of Latvian Travel Agents and Operators (ALTA) with support of BT 1 International Expo Company.

Follow updates on: www.facebook.com/balttour and www.instagram.com/balttour/

Entrance fees:
Adults: EUR 6

Students, pupils, senior, disabled: EUR 5 (valid documents are mandatory)
Family ticket (2+1 or 1+2): EUR 12
+EUR 2 for each additional child
Children under 7 can enter for free
PRO ticket (for professional visitor): EUR 15
Don’t waste time standing in line, buy online: www.balttour.lv/visit.php

Parking: EUR 5

Opening hours:
2 February: 13:00–18:00
3 February: 10:00–18:00
4 February: 10:00–17:00

* a person who journeys to a sacred place for religious reasons
* a way to wish someone a safe journey and good fortune on their trip