Laura is a Tourism Specialist at the Latgale Tourism expert for the Latgale region based in Rezekene. Laura is from Rezekne and completed her Masters in Baltic Region studies at the University of Latvia in Riga. She decided to move back to Rezekne in 2016 for family reasons to be based in a smaller city. Laura is not fond of living in a big city such as Riga.
Laura work involves promoting the tourism industry of the Latgale region. According to Laura, though Latvians from other parts of the country visit Latgale they tend to associate the region with a place of Russians where Russian language is predominantly spoken. The stereotypical views of the region change when people visit the region and experience the local culture. Despite the difference in languages ( Latvian and Russian) people visit the region. In Laura’s view the tourism sector in Latgale region is growing as there is a increase in the number of people travel with in the region as well as visitors from other parts of Latvia. Laura believes, the beautiful nature, simplicity and sincerity of the locals, good food, local language (Latgalian), and different nationalities are key areas that attract the visitors. Though it is part of Latvia, Latgale poses unique social qualities because of the region’s historic past; Having been part of the Polish-Commonwealth, Russian Empire, and Soviet Union, Latgale sets the place apart from the rest of the country.
Laura also added, as a border region, the locals are prone to consume misinformation and news from both Russia and Belarus. Locals also go to Belarus to get cheaper gas, medicine and food.