Harkivā apgūst militāro izlūkošanu ar droniem



Vai tūrisma nodeva Rīgai atmaksājas?

Rīga tourism fees bring good results

A tourism fee was introduced in Rīga on January 1 this year to acquire additional resources for the development of the tourism sector in the capital. Rīga Investment and Tourism Agency said that this year's goals of collected money have been exceeded, but next year it is necessary to collect more money and spend it on marketing, Latvian Television reported on December 26.

It was decided to introduce a tourism fee in Rīga in 2019. It was planned as early as 2021, but plans were changed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It was finally introduced this year. The rate from January 1 to the end of October shall be one euro per night, but not more than 10 euros for the total period of stay. Meanwhile, between November and the end of the year, the amount is 89 cents per night, but no more than €8.90 for the total stay. It's added to the accommodation bill and hotels have to pay it back to the local government every quarter.

Deputy Director of Riga municipal agency “Riga Investment and Tourism Agency” (“LiveRiga”) Ieva Lasmane said: “It can be seen that guests are staying here on average for two nights, sometimes more. Also by calculating the total length of stay and the total cost, say two or three [euros] is not too high when traveling.”

This year's goal was to collect 800 thousand euros, but revenues were considerably higher – 1.3 million. The money has already been invested in various tourism development programs.

For the most part, the hotel industry is positive about this, especially due to the fact that investments in tourism marketing in Latvia have long been insufficient, says the Latvian Hotel and Restaurants Association.

Andris Kaktiņš, president of the association, noted: “There is a need to invest in tourism marketing activities. You have to catch up. Latvia contributes very little on a national level. We have a budget for marketing tourism activities of about three million. It is 6.5 million in Lithuania, and 8.5 million in Estonia. If we don't invest that money, then we will continue to be where we are.”

The tourism fee in Riga also has to be paid by local residents. The association's president explained that visitors to the accommodation initially were outraged at the small price increase.

“There were all kinds of incidents that people used to say, I came to you a month ago, then there was no payment, now there's a charge... As I said, that one euro is not a substantial fee and in general is no problem with anyone complaining that it should be done. This is normal practice in other cities, capital cities,” Kaktiiņš said.

Next year, the capital plans to increase its budget target and invest more in the tourism sector.

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