Russians pile into Riga for New Year

A steady decline in the number of Russian tourists visiting Latvia recently was spectacularly reversed over the new year period according to figures released Wednesday from the Riga Tourism Development Bureau (RTAB). 

The number of Russian tourists visiting the Latvian capital Riga tripled during the winter holidays from Christmas last year to early January this year, according to RTAB. 

The overall number of tourists in Riga during the winter holidays increased by 20 percent on average year-on-year and doubled compared to early December.

"During the past winter holidays we experienced a much bigger inflow of tourists compared to last year. Interestingly, Russian tourists represented about 20 percent of the total number of tourists until the New Year but their number tripled in the first days of January when holidays began in Russia. The next largest group were German tourists, accounting for 13 percent of all visitors,” said Zane Kursite, the head of RTAB.

The Riga Tourism Development Office (RTAB) was established in late 2009 by Riga City Council (70% ownership), the national air carrier airBaltic (10%), the Latvian Hotel and Restaurant Association (10%) and the Association of Latvian Tourism Agents (10%).

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