The Association of Estonian Travel Companies has named the Soomaa nature tourism entrepreneur Aivar Ruukel as Tourism Person of the Year, on whose initiative the Soomaa single-log punt Haabjas was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The title of Tourist Site of the Year was given to Fat Margaret – Estonian Maritime Museum.
According to Merike Hallik, Secretary General of the Association of Estonian Travel Companies, Ruukel was awarded the title of tourism figure of the year due to his many years of outstanding work, which resulted in the inclusion of the unique Soomaa single-log haabjas punt in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
“Soomaa Park is famous as a nature tourism area not only in Estonia, but also worldwide. Aivar Ruukel has been organizing haabyas boat making workshops, workshops and camps for decades, and including such a historically important activity for the community on the cultural heritage list will add to its popularity among younger generations, too,” Hallik said.
The title of the tourist site of the year was awarded to Fat Margaret, the Estonian Maritime Museum, whose updated expositions can serve as an example for many museums in both Estonia and Europe. According to Hallick, the exhibition on offer at Fat Margarita is truly impressive, engaging, interactive and suitable for a wide range of age groups.
“Last year, the new exhibition at the Maritime Museum, thanks to the quality of the exhibition and interesting stories, was among the top three contenders for the Luigi Micheletti Prize of the European Academy of Museums. This is a very important recognition of its importance, as the nominees for the award included dozens of museums from all over Europe,” said Hallick. “In addition, the Maritime Museum has become a real hit among museum visitors in general.”
In addition to the traditional awards for tourism figure of the year and tourist site of the year, the Estonian Tourism Association presented for the first time the Lifetime Achievement Award to Daisy Järva, who is one of the brightest figures who has been supporting the development of entrepreneurs and companies in the field of tourism for many years. .
Daisy can be considered the founder of the modern tourism sector in Estonia, as well as the godmother of the oldest tourism fair in the Baltic States, Tourest. Daisy is a board member of the umbrella organization of the European Association of Travel Agencies and Tour Operators (ECTAA) and she has participated in a huge number of internationally held meetings and events in the tourism industry, and has always spoken with purpose on the most important topics for Estonian tourism, among other things, she has written dozens of articles and opinion articles.
“Daisy is affectionately referred to in tourism circles as the first lady of Estonian tourism, and thanks to her inexhaustible energy and deep respect for Estonian culture, she has been able to attract generations to tourism,” said Hallik. “In addition to presenting the Old Town of Tallinn and other Estonian tourism heritage, Daisy actively promoted the collection of art and design objects by holding annual exhibitions of her collections or works.”
Daizi Järva started working as a guide in 1967, she worked in the system of the Estonian Republican Council for Tourism and Excursions as a tourism instructor, guide and head of the service department in 1969-1984, and in 1984 she joined the director of the cultural trip organization Tallintuur , one of the owners and executive director of which she is today.
When the Union of Estonian Travel Companies (ETFE) was established in 1990, Daisy immediately became its leading spokesperson. She has served as president, vice president, board member, and commissioner over the years of the union, and Daisy is still active in the union today. From November 1 to November 3, 1991, the first international tourism fair Tourest ’91 was held in Tallinn on the initiative of STFE and together with the Department of Tourism. On November 1, 1991, at the initiative of the STFE, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania signed an agreement on cooperation between travel associations, under which the three countries continue to cooperate today.
Daisy Järv’s great hobby is researching and collecting the heritage of the Burman dynasty. Her collection includes drawings, sketches, catalogues, invitations to exhibitions, postcards.
There is not a single Burman house in Estonia that Daisy has not photographed or whose history she does not know. All this knowledge and history is constantly passed on to the numerous groups of tourists visiting Tallinn, who are attracted to Estonia by architecture and art.
During the years of activity, which resulted in many works and events, Daisy has been a member of the Cultural Commission and the Legal Commission of the Tallinn City Council, a member of the Advisory Council advising the Minister of Foreign Affairs on accession to the European Union, and a board member of the Estonian Chamber of Culture.
Daisy Järva is a founding member of the Tallinn club of the international charity organization Zonta, and she has served as president of the Tallinn club and head of the organization’s regional office in Estonia.
In 1993, Daisy Järva became the first woman of the year awarded by the Entrepreneurial Women’s Association of Estonia.