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Foreigners stayed longer, spent less in Latvia last year

Last year the number of foreign tourists coming to Latvia dropped slightly. They spent less money but, on the average, stayed for a longer time than in 2015.

According to data by the Central Statistics Bureau, foreign tourists crossed the border of Latvia 6.8 million times. That is 0.7% less than the previous year.

They spent €645.2m in Latvia, which is by €97.0 mln 13.1 % less than in 2015.

A total 1.8 million of the visitors were overnight travelers (11.4% less than in 2015), spending 12.3% less. Their expenses amounted to €474.4 million.

About a third - 30.1% - of the foreign travelers visited for the first time. As compared to the previous year, the total number of nights spent increased by 7.6%, reaching 8.8 million nights. Visitors stayed in Latvia for 4.9 days on average – 0.9 days more than in 2015.

Visitors by country

Compared to 2015, there was an increase in the number of foreign overnight travelers from Poland – of 8.6 %, Lithuania – of 8.5 %, Germany – of 6.7 %, and the United Kingdom – of 4.8 %.

In turn, there was a decrease in the number of foreign overnight travelers from Sweden – of 37.1 %, Belgium – of 34.6 %, the Czech Republic – of 23.4 %, Russia – of 20.3 %, and Estonia – of 7.0 %.

Reasons for stay

Most of the overnight travelers (93.0 %) came to Latvia for tourism purposes, of which 47.7 % came for recreation, 26.1 % came to visit relatives and friends, and 19.2% came on business trips. In turn, 7.0 % came to Latvia for other purposes, for example, to study.


The average expenditure per trip around Latvia amounted to €332.70 for those travelling alone and €209.41 for those travelling with family, friends, colleagues. The average daily expenditure for those travelling on their own amounted to €62.34, whereas for those travelling with someone – €46.17.

Out of the 8.8 million nights, 37.4% were spent at rented or paid accommodation, while 62.6% were spent at private or non-rented places.

On average, a single traveler spent 6.8 days at private accommodation, which is 3.6 days more than at a rented place (3.2 days on average).

Ways of arrival

Of all the foreign overnight travellers who crossed the border of Latvia in 2016, 49.8% used road transport, 44.5% used air transport, 2.1% used sea transport and 3.6% used rail transport.

Read more about 2016 tourism trends in Latvia HERE

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