Tourism guidebooks in Latvia
|1.||Aims and contents of a guidebook||5|
|1.1.||History and world experience||5|
|1.2.||Aims of a guidebook||7|
|1.3.||Essential contents of a guidebook||9|
|2.||The best guidebooks in the world||12|
|2.4.||In Your Pocket City Guides||18|
|2.5.||Comparative analysis of the previously mentioned guidebooks||19|
|3.||Available guidebooks in Latvia||22|
|3.1.||The first guidebooks||22|
|3.2.||Guidebooks during the soviet period||24|
|3.3.||Guidebooks since the restoration of independence, 1991||24|
|4.||About guidebooks that are published in Latvia||28|
|4.1.||Characteristics of Latvian guidebooks||28|
|4.2.||Latvian guidebooks in comparison to the world level guidebooks||29|
|4.3.||The suitability of Latvian guidebooks for the international tourism industry||31|
|Conclusions and Suggestions||32|
|List of sources||34|
The study paper “Tourism guidebooks in Latvia” is a research document realized by Laura Siliņa. An analysis will be done about tourism guidebooks both of Latvian origin and the world level tourism guidebooks.
The topic is a live issue in the nowadays tourism industry because tourism guidebooks work to not only provide information to the travelers, but also can take action in an advertisement form, unknowingly to the reader influence his following choices regarding traveling, not only the selection of routes of trips and accommodation and catering services, but also the potential travelers opinion, perception and attitude to the matters of a trip, destination or some related establishments.
Research of tourism guidebooks is a quite topical question because there is an extreme lack of theoretical base about guidebooks as such and not a lot of studies have been made about the topic. It is related to the facts that tourism guidebooks are published by private publishing companies, which don’t have to abide by a list rules or some criteria, on the account for the government and tourism policies deficit of control of guidebooks.
The aim of this study paper is to realize an in-depth analysis of guidebooks that are available in Latvia. There, of course, are a number of tasks that will help the author achieve the goal. Firstly, it was necessary to collect and analyze the data sources and materials about the aims and contents of guidebooks, as to get a general insight on the matters and main peculiarities of them, also the history and world experience. Secondly, the best guidebooks of the world had to be analyzed, determining their essential contents and information, as well as their aims. Thirdly, it was crucial to acquire information about guidebooks that are or where available in Latvia, their development and peculiarities. And last but not least, the Latvian guidebooks where analyzed and compared to the world level guidebooks, as well as their suitability for the international tourism industry and foreign tourists.
The main research methods consist of a thorough research through both the Internet and Latvian National Library. As much as it was possible the author tried to investigate the left over copies of almost ancient guidebooks that have once been published in Latvia, using her skills and knowledge in literature she analyzed the guidebooks. And Internet became of great use when it came to narrowing the investigation for some theoretical material on guidebooks, not even mentioning the world wide web of information where guidebooks that have long since been fallen into decay can be found.
The time period of this research surprised the author with its length and time-consuming and it took longer then expected- almost all of the March and the first half of April 2007.
Several guidebooks have been inspected, to be specific, 21 tourism guidebook, all of which are mentioned in the study paper, the most of hem are not mentioned anywhere in the reference list because none text had been quoted and by rule it doesn’t require to reference list them. As to the references, a lot of the text has been quoted, and as follows also listed in references, from the Internet. The main portal used is the wikipedia.org site.
In the end the author found it necessary to emphasize her interest on guidebooks as such, that being the main motivation to research this topic.
“In the mid 15th century, Gilles le Bouvier, in his Livre de la description des pays, brought out the best reason to travel and wrote: “Because many people of diverse nations and countries delight and take pleasure, as I have done in times past, in seeing the world and things therein, and also because many wish to know without going there, and others wish to see, go, and travel, I have begun this little book.””
This was the beginning of travel literature, revealing to people the passion of traveling and later on describing their emotions and experiences. It was the beginning of a new and different literature genre that is named outdoor literature. It recounted adventure, exploration and conquest, but had its rules and to be called literature the work had to have “a coherent narrative, or insights and value, beyond a mere logging of dates and events, such as diary or ship's log. Travel literature is not to be confused with travel guides that are usually a series put out by a publisher, each of them dealing with a particular country, city or region. These are useful for travelers, as they provide a wealth of information on hotels, restaurants, major sights, travel tips etc. The writers are often specialists who travel and write these books for a living.”  That, although travel literature is considered to be the parent of all guidebooks. But they have altered greatly throughout what can be defined as the evolution of guidebooks and tourism literature in whole.
In this chapter the author will remark and mention the aims and contents of tourism guidebooks, also touching upon the history and world experience of this not so popular subject among researchers.
In the last section of this chapter the author will point out the essential contents of any guidebook that ought to be considered as good that way laying the base for the criteria for further studies and investigation of guidebooks.
1.1. History and World Experience
“One of the earliest known records of taking pleasure in travel, of traveling for the sake of travel and writing about it, is Petrarch's (1304–1374) ascent of Mount Ventoux in 1336. He states that he went to the mountaintop for the pleasure of seeing the top of the famous height. His companions who stayed at the bottom he called frigida incuriositas ("a cold lack of curiosity"). He then wrote about his climb, making allegorical comparisons between climbing the mountain and his own moral progress in life.”  This could be called the beginning of the travel literature genre, but it was still quite a long period of time when the first modern tourism guidebooks as we know them were written and published to be available for the market. Officially, the first modern travel guide book was written by Fr. Röhling in 1828, and named Rheinreise von Mainz bis Köln, and was written in German.
In 1829 Karl Baedeker (1801-1859) [see annex 1] “set up a book publishing business in Colbence (Koblenz), and in 1832 took over the Röhling book publishing business and later that year, published the above book in French, titled, Voyage du Rhin de Mayence à Coblence. In 1836, John Murray (1808-1892) an English book publisher, published his first travel guide titled, A Handbook for Travelers on the Continent.”  It is said that Murray’s guidebook had inspired Baedeker to take up publishing more guidebooks, in the 1830’s four German more titles followed- Rheinreise, Moselreise, Holland and Belgien. And from 1840 Karl Baedeker and John Murray set in motion a cooperation that brought a great benefit for the evolution of tourism guidebooks. They began to publish travel guides for the continental Europe travel market, in different languages, adjusting to each others policy, for instance an great deal of the earliest Baedeker’s guidebooks were German translations of Murray's titles published in English. …
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