Latvia's hotels struggle to fill rooms with foreign guests

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The number of foreign tourists in hotels is increasing, but hotels are working with significantly lower incomes than last summer, when the Baltic Bubble was created, said Santa Graikste, executive director of the Latvian Hotel and Restaurant Association, to Latvian Radio July 19.

She said that despite the decline in morbidity rates, this year's season involves a variety of restrictions that pose different challenges. People who have been vaccinated can now enter Latvia freely, while others have to carry out a Covid-19 test. This is confusing for travelers because the incidence rate is shrinking, but there are still limits, Graikste said.

She recalled that the Baltic bubble was created last year when guests from other Baltic states were able to visit Latvia without additional restrictions. This and increased activity from local tourists, as well as state aid for downtime, helped the accommodation sector to survive through the winter.

Graikste said there is no certainty that hotels will be able to earn as much in July, August and September as to suffice for the quiet season and the current number of customers is not enough to work profitably. State aid is also gradually removed so it is unknown whether some accommodation locations will be able to make it through to next season.

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