Under a relatively new support scheme from the City of Tallinn, delegates to international conferences can ride the capital’s buses, trolleys and trams free of charge.
Event organisers who apply through the city’s Transport Department will receive QR code tickets which can be sent to delegates before their arrival. The tickets are valid for the entire period of the delegate’s official stay.
Tallinn’s highly compact layout means that most venues, hotels and attractions can easily be reached by foot, however, the public transport offer will come in handy for visiting outlying sights as well as making the quick bus or tram connection from the airport. The free rides will also be highly useful for events place outside the city centre, such as at TalTech, when delegates are staying in central hotels.
“This is a fantastic way for the city to contribute to the local conference industry, particularly since promoting public transport fits so well with the growing trend toward green events. And what better way to welcome visitors than giving them a free ride into town?,” said ECB Managing Director Kadri Karu.
The QR tickets come in two versions – one designed for printout, including on event badges, and another that can be displayed on a smartphone. Users have to scan their tickets at the front of the vehicle upon each new boarding.
To qualify for the offer, event organisers have to send a formal application to the Tallinn Transport Department. They also have to agree to promote the city as an event sponsor in specific ways, such as including the Tallinn logo on web and printed materials, and using the #VisitTallinn and #Tallinn hashtags on social media posts. Full details can be found here.
The support programme, which also applies to visitors attending international cultural and sports events, was introduced early this year, however wide announcement of its launch was stifled by the COVID-19 crisis and subsequent travel shutdown.
Compared with the rest of Europe, Estonia has been less impacted by the health crisis, with the majority of hotels restaurants remaining open throughout. The government has since lifted entry restrictions for visitors from most Schengen countries and is in the process of further easing of regulations. From July 1st, for example, indoor events of up to 500 participants will be allowed as long as the rooms are used at only 50% of their standard capacity.