Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences (ViA) and Valmiermuiža’s alus (VA) brewery recently signed a cooperation agreement entailing the performance of joint research, as well as implementation of vocational training for students and various other projects aimed at developing tourism in Vidzeme. This is the first cooperation agreement of its type between representatives of the academic and private sectors, to nurture gastronomic tourism and the development of the cultural-historical environment. The partnership between ViA and VA will bring theory and practice closer together, ensure effective deployment of student resources, as well as provide additional motivation for people with jobs, because their contribution will be functional instead of gathering dust on the shelf of an academic institution.During a meeting held at the craft brewery, it was stressed that fresh and innovative ideas will prove decisive to the development of Latvia’s social and economic life. And such ideas can be conceived through cooperation between optimistic and ambitious young people and experienced masters of their profession.“There has been a lot of criticism in Latvia about the suitability of graduates of educational institutions for the labour market. However, the question which should actually be asked is: what needs to change for the potential of young people to be put to practical use? As a patriot of Vidzeme and someone born in Valmiera, I’m proud that it is Vidzeme High School which asking this question and successfully coming up with the answer,” says Valmiermuiža’s alus landlord, Aigars Ruņģis.During a visit to the craft brewery, ViA Rector, Dr. hist. Vija Daukšte proudly admitted that, “The signing of this contract is a great example of best practice and yet more evidence that, step by step, the high school is moving towards the realisation of its vision in which assorted knowledge is integrated within study programmes, and theory is successfully combined with practice.”In turn, Aigars Ruņģis points out that, “Yes, we brew beer for connoisseurs, but we put the same effort into welcoming our guests, tourists from both here in Latvia and abroad. And this is only the beginning. We want to tidy up and beautify Valmiermuiža’s old manor grounds, creating a place here that can be enjoyed with all of the senses available to us. And above all, we’re proud to hail from Vidzeme. I believe that students from Vidzeme High School’s Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality will make a notable contribution towards attracting gastronomic tourists to Vidzeme and Valmiermuiža.”Commencing their cooperation, the first study visit by tourism management students to the VA craft brewery will take place on 10 October. Henceforth, a range of activities are planned, including the development of scientific dissertations on the development of gastronomic tourism. The authors of the best dissertations will receive funding and the necessary resources to implement their visions in practice.