Coastal tourism forecast to recover fastest in Latvia

European experts estimate that the tourism sector as a whole could recover in 2023, whereas the local tourism industry forecasts an increase in foreign visitor numbers along the coast in Kurzeme, Latvian Radio reported December 7. 

Liepāja Regional Tourism Information Bureau Board member Sintija Pusaudze said that the tourism season of 2021 was similar to the one experienced in 2020, except for the huge influx of Lithuanians in Liepāja and nearby areas.

"As the EU opened borders for all travelers on July 1, guests from 70 different countries around the world arrived to us. Latvian travelers continued to support tourism entrepreneurs and traveled inland. There is still an increase compared to last year at +17%, and +52% compared with 2019, which was good for the industry,” Pusaudze said.

Compared to last year, overall, there are no major changes in the tourist flow in Kurzeme. Artis Gustovskis, Chairman of the Board of the Kurzeme Tourism Association, surveyed tourism entrepreneurs in Talsi, Ventspils, Jūrkalne and elsewhere.

“The same thing is going on at the beginning of the pandemic. It matters whether the facility is in the city or remote, or near the waters. In more remote places, more accommodation is booked. There is more nature and less Covid, or, as some confessed, there is an opportunity to gather more than one household. We don't know that, and we can't say it out loud,” Gustovskis said.

Sintija Pusaudze said that the time of the pandemic introduced adjustments and also benefits. She forecasts that the Kurzeme coast that could become one of the most popular destinations for Scandinavian and European tourists in the future. 

“[..] We have realized from tourism professionals around the world that we could reach the 2019 volume of foreign tourists in 2023. Consequently, we forecast an increase in foreign tourists in the following year, but not as much as it was before the pandemic,” Pusaudze said.

Gustovskis said that a document titled “2030 Agenda” is being prepared on the new trends of tourism after Covid. Three strands are earmarked for tourism development: green tourism, digital tourism, and recovery tourism.


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