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2 million tourists visited Riga in 2014

27.02.2015 | LETA

A total of 1,122,926 visitors stayed at hotels and other accommodations in Riga in 2014, which represents a 15.6 percent increase on 2013. The total number of tourists visiting the city reached 2 million last year, according to information from the Central Statistical Bureau, tabulated by the Riga Tourism Development Bureau.

The average number of nights a traveler spent in Riga last year increased 10 percent, totaling 1,953,199 nights.

Although the number of Russian tourists in Riga decreased 6.5 percent last year, tourists from Russia still account for the biggest number in Riga hotels.

Russian tourists constituted 18.4 percent of all tourists in Riga hotels and other accommodations last year, tourists from Germany - 11.9 percent, Estonia - 7.2 percent, Lithuania - 6.3 percent, Norway - 5.8 percent, Finland - 5.7 percent, Sweden - 5 percent, Great Britain - 4.8 percent.

Number of British tourists in Riga increased the most last year, by 50 percent. The number of German tourists grew 40 percent, tourists from Belgium - 35 percent, Denmark and Belarus - 30 percent each, Netherlands - 20 percent.

In addition to the above data, there are several important factors to be kept in mind. First, Riga was visited by dozens of cruise liners last year, the passengers of which stay for just one day and therefore are not included in the Statistical Bureau's statistics. For instance, almost 700,000 passengers traveled on the "Tallink" ferry line between Latvia and Sweden in 2014. Second, nearly one-third of tourists visiting Riga do not stay in hotels or other accommodations but prefer alternative lodging, according to the Riga Tourism Development Bureau.

"Based on information and statistics we have, it is safe to say that the total number of tourists in Riga reached 2 million in 2014. We were hoping very much that it would happen, and it did thanks to fruitful co-operation in the sector. Last year brought about a remarkable drop in the number of Russian tourists, we therefore decided to re-focus on Western countries, which made it possible to maintain steady growth in the number of tourists. Our marketing activities, participation in various fairs were also contributing factors," as the Riga Tourism Development Bureau's board member Vita Jermolovica explained..

At the end of 2014, there were 119 tourist accommodations with a total of 13,871 beds in Riga.

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