Tourism sector started to recover from Covid pandemic in 2021

According to the latest data resulting from cooperation project between the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) and Eurostat, 700.9 thousand guest nights were spent in Latvia in 2021, which were offered via one of the four collaborative economy platforms – Booking, Airbnb, Expedia and Tripadvisor.

That is 6.2 % less than in 2020, when the number of guest nights comprised 747.6 thousand and 47.6 % less than in 2019 before the pandemic, when the number of guest nights reached 1.3 million nights.

As with the general statistics on tourist accommodation, the figures show the impact of COVID-19 – a sharp drop in March, April and at the end of 2020 and at the beginning of 2021, however, in general during 2021 season and at the end of the year, the number of nights by guests increased again.

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As the number of international guests has significantly decreased due to the pandemic, compared to previous years, the share of guest nights booked by domestic guests has increased – in 2021, a half (50.5 %) of guest nights were booked via collaborative economy platforms by domestic guests, a half (49.5 %) by international guests. In 2020, 67.8 % of guest nights were booked by international guests, but in 2019 their share comprised 87.4 %.

On average, one booking in these accommodations comprised 6.2 nights, of which for international guests – 9.7, but for domestic guests – 4.6 nights. The average number of guest nights characterizes the volume of one booking and is obtained by dividing the total number of guest nights by the number of bookings. Most of accommodations booked have capacity of up to 10 beds (93.5 % of nights booked).

In 2021, compared to the previous year, in all three Baltic countries there was a decrease in guest nights booked by international guests – in Latvia by 31.5 %, in Estonia – by 15.1 %, in Lithuania – by 4.2 %, however, both in Estonia and Lithuania the total number of nights booked increased last year (by 5.1 % and 14.5 %, respectively).

In 2021, the busiest months were July and August, and these two summer months covered 40.8 % of the annual number of guest nights, while the share of January and February was the lowest – only 3.3 % of the total number of guest nights.

The majority of guest nights in Latvia were booked by guests from Lithuania (62.6 thousand), Germany (48.7 thousand), United Kingdom (36.8 thousand), France (25.1 thousand), Estonia (15.7 thousand), USA (13.9 thousand), Russia (13.8 thousand), Poland (11.9 thousand) and Spain (11.2 thousand).

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