Some signs that foreign tourists are returning to Latvia

Take note – story published 1 year ago

There were more signs of recovery in the Latvian tourism sector March 15 with new data showing tourist numbers in January had increased by more than 50% compared with a year earlier, with arrivals from overseas increasing by even more. However, there is still a long way to go before tourist numbers return to pre-pandemic levels.

Data compiled by the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia (CSB) show that in January 2023 the number of non-resident and resident arrivals at tourist accommodation establishments was 120.1 thousand, which is 51.5 % more than in January 2022. The visitors spent 217.1 thousand nights, which is 48.1 % more than in January a year ago. 

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In January 2023 non-resident arrivals at the tourist accommodation establishments accounted for 52.4 % or 62.9 thousand people, which is more than double the figure in January 2022 though it is still 43.3 % fewer than before the pandemic in January 2020.

The number of nights spent by non-residents, compared to January 2022, has also doubled and constituted 118.6 thousand. Non-residents on average spent 1.9 nights at the tourist accommodation.

The greatest number of non-resident travellers came from Lithuania (10.4 thousand), Estonia (8.1 thousand), the United Kingdom (5.9 thousand), Germany (4.4 thousand), Finland (3.4 thousand), USA and Ukraine (2.7 thousand). In addition, 32.9 % or 20.7 thousand of the non-residents came from the neighbouring countries of Latvia – Lithuania (16.6 %), Estonia (12.9 %), Russia (2.1 %) and Belarus (1.3 %).

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Most non-residents were hosted in Riga (79 %), followed by Jūrmala (4.8 %), Mārupe municipality (4.7 %), Liepāja (2.1 %), Valmiera municipality (1.2 %), and Rēzekne (1.1 %).

In January 2023, 57.2 thousand resident arrivals were registered at the tourist accommodation establishments, which is 14.7 % more than in January 2022 and 8.1 % more than before the COVID-19 outbreak in January 2020. The residents spent 98.5 thousand nights at the establishments, which is an upturn of 13.5 % compared to January a year ago.

Resident travellers stayed in Riga (30.3 %), Jūrmala (16.6 %), Liepāja (6.2 %), Sigulda and Cēsis municipalities (4.6 %), Daugavpils (3.9 %), and Valmiera municipality (3 %).

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