Welcome to the Saaremaa Tourism Foundation website

Saaremaa Tourism Foundation


Founded at the initiative of private companies, Saaremaa Tourism is one of organizations in this field in Saare County. The first step came in 1995, with the founding of an association of tourism and recreational companies in Saare County. It was succeeded in 1998 by the Saaremaa Tourism Foundation.

Saaremaa Tourism unites strong and experienced companies that support tourism in different fields (tour operators, accommodation providers, transport companies, specific tourist attractions). The foundation works with all of the other companies, local governments and organizations in the county.


Goals of Saaremaa Tourism Foundation:

  • Develop the tourism sector in Saaremaa and Muhu islands and market Saare County as a tourism destination, taking into consideration above all the suggestions and interests of its members;

  • Launch, support and direct various projects for developing tourism in the country and marketing it as a tourist destination;

  • Apply for funding and other resources from state structural funds for carrying out its goals;

  • Represent and protect the interests of companies engaged in tourism in their dealings with Saare County in state and public organizations;

  • Develop cooperation with other corresponding foundations, unions and associations.


The principle of the Foundation is that we market Saaremaa not only in Estonia but also abroad, because thus every company individually gets benefits.


Activities of Saaremaa Tourism Foundation:

  • Coordinates participation in foreign trade fairs;

  • The longest-standing tradition is representing Saare county in various international tourism fairs: in Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, Germany;

  • Publishes a traditional tourism catalogue each year, entitled Saaremaa & Muhu;

  • Organizes marketing events (familiarization trips for foreign journalists etc…);

  • Foundation reps take active part in regional roundtables, trainings, discussions on activity plans and other events that are important for the development of the tourism sector;

  • We contribute input to all of the most important discussions on issues in the county and, if necessary, more distant regions.


Our most influential projects:

  • The Foundation was the co-organizer (along with the Estonian Tuglas Society) of the St. Martin’s Day fair in Helsinki 2011. The thematic regions of the year were “Saaremaa and Hiiumaa”. This was both a great honour and responsibility.

Besides self-financing, the project was funded by: West-Estonian Islands Partnership – LEADER programme, Cultural Endowment of Estonia’s Saaremaa expert group, the Kuressaare City Government and Leisi municipality.


  • In 2009, a tourism marketing project compiled by Saaremaa Tourism for 2009-2012 – “Wanderer’s itineraries in Saaremaa and Hiiumaa” – received a grant. Project financing: Enterprise Estonia tourism marketing measures for the public and third sector, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.



The foundation members convene at least once a month to analyze developments in the tourism sector in the county, Estonia and the world, drawing conclusions and resolving critical issues.

It is extremely important that all of the Foundation’s activities generate benefits for all companies connected to tourism and for Saare County as a whole.

The image of the Foundation is shaped mainly though a consistently high quality of activity, achieved through competences, experiences, cooperative activity and thorough discussion.

This is supported by the operating principle behind the Foundation – that no one should do someone else’s job for them, everyone has an opportunity to participate in and contribute to the Foundation’s activities both for their own aims and for common goals.


The Foundation’s membership is open to active, creative entrepreneurs with big plans who want to have a say and get involved in cooperative activities that support the above goals and activities.