Power of Latvian 'koyo' draws Japanese tourists

The number of tourists visiting Latvia from Russia decreased markedly in the third quarter of the year, according to the latest data from the Central Statistics Bureau (CSB).

However the good news is that increases in tourists from other countries more than compensated for the drop.

The number of visitors in hotels and other accommodation in the third quarter of this year comprised 764,600 thousand people - up 11.3% on the third quarter of 2013.

Russian tourist numbers fell by 14.2% compared to the third quarter of 2013, raising concerns that this year's Christmas and New Year season - which traditionally sees large numbers of visitors from Russia - may fall short of expectations. 

On the other hand, the number of tourists from Belarus increased by a staggering by 29.9%, from Lithuania by 9.6% and from Estonia by 8.1%.

There were also significant increases observed in the number of visitors from the United Kingdom (59.6%), Turkey (37.6%), Austria (32.9%) and Germany (31.5%).

But the biggest increase of all came from visitors from Japan, up a staggering 63.5%. Though still small in absolute numbers, Japanese tourists have included Latvia on their tourism itineraries in the third quarter of the year in particular because of the chance to observe the changing colors of the Latvian forest.

Autumn 'leaf watching' ('Koyo' in Japanese) is a national obsession in Japan and there is no better place in the world to do it than Latvia with half the country forested.

 

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Economy
Economy