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Number of foreign tourists continues to grow in Latvia

24.11.2015

Latvia accommodated 543,500 foreign guests in the third quarter of this year, which was a 3.6 percent increase against the third quarter of last year.

The latest data of the Central Statistics Bureau (CSB) show that 543,500 foreign guests were served at Latvian tourist facilities in the third quarter of 2015, which is 3.6 percent more than in the third quarter of 2014, while the number of foreign tourists’ overnight stays dropped 3.3 percent.

Inese Sīrava, acting director of the Latvian Tourism Development Agency (LTDA), says: “We have been working hard and in various markets. And this hard work is now reflecting in results.”

According to CSB data, the number of Russian guests hosted by lodging establishments  fell 24.8 percent, while the number of guests from Lithuania and Estonia grew significantly, by 30.9 percent and 30.0 percent respectively. The number of guests from Finland (21.1 percent), Sweden (15.5 percent) and Norway (10.3 percent) also rose considerably,

Inese Sīrava says: “The strong growth in the number of tourists from neighbor countries and other target markets clearly shows that our efforts been strategically correctly organized and efficient. Considering the current volatile situation in the world, there are reasons to hope that people will increasingly choose to travel closer to home, including to Latvia, which the independent tourist guide publisher “Lonely Planet”  has recognized as a marvelous tourist destination for 2016. 

The LTDA head was also glad about the fact that tourist traffic from Germany has kept growing. For the second consecutive quarter Germany has been the leading supplier of tourists to Latvia, beating Russia which used to dominate in the Latvian tourist market. 

The drop in overnight stays has been logical and can be put down to the decrease in the number of Russian tourists. In previous years Russian tourists not only visited our country in large numbers but also spent long holidays in Latvia.

Riga welcomed 71.1 percent, Jurmala 10.8 percent, Ventspils 3.0 percent, Sigulda municipality 2.4 percent and Liepaja 1.8 percent of all foreign tourists, according to CSB data.

During the third quarter of 2015, tourist facilities in Riga served 436,400 guests, up 2.7 percent from the third quarter of 2014. The highest number of foreign guests came from Germany (15.3 percent), Russia (9.4 percent), Estonia (7.5 percent), Finland (6.8 percent), Lithuania (5.9 percent), Norway (5.0 percent), UK (4.7 percent) and Italy (4.0 percent).