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Successful development of the Latvian tourism industry continues
Since 2011, when our national economy started recovering from the crisis, the tourism industry has continually delighted us with its increasing rates. That is also true regarding the first quarter of 2015 according to the latest data of the Central Statistical Bureau.
During the first quarter of 2015, 360,500 guests were accommodated in hotels and other tourist accommodation establishments, which is 3.4% more than in the first quarter of 2014. The number of the foreign visitors has increased by 1.0%, while the number of the Latvian visitors - by 8.3% in comparison with the first quarter of 2014.
Although the statistical data was anticipated with growing concern and the number of Russian tourists dropped sharply in the first quarter of this year, by as much as 40%, Western tourists and visitors from neighbouring countries compensated for the drop in their number - Lithuania (+ 19.5%), Belarus (+ 8%) and Estonia (+ 3.3%).
As Latvia is holding the Presidency of the Council of the EU during the first half of this year, the number of visitors, particularly from Belgium, increased (by 141.0%) in the first quarter of the year. A significant increase was also observed in the number of visitors from the United Kingdom (49.3%), Denmark (38.2%), the Netherlands (36.7%) and France (32.8%).
The unfavourable geopolitical situation and recession of the Russian economy, worsening the material possibilities of its citizens to travel, have not yet changed the breakdown of our tourism market by other countries. The largest number of visitors accommodated in tourist accommodation establishments is still from Russia (19%), Estonia (11.4%), Lithuania (11.3%), Germany (6.8%), the UK (6%), Norway (5.8%), Finland (4.5%) and Sweden (4%).
Data source: The Central Statistical Bureau
The total number of nights spent in the tourist accommodation establishments in the first quarter of 2015 was 693.7 thousand which is by 0.3% more than in the first quarter of 2014.