Tourist numbers rising markedly

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In the third quarter of 2016, the number of guests in hotels and other types of accommodations in Riga grew by 7.8 percent year-on-year to 420,780, the Riga Tourism Development Bureau (RTAB) said, citing information from the Latvian Central Statistical Bureau, according to LETA.

During the third quarter of this year, foreign guests stayed for 753,347 nights in Riga, which is by 4.6 percent more than during the same period last year. There were 125 tourist accommodation facilities with a total of 15,723 beds available in Riga in the third quarter of 2016.

Most foreign tourists staying at hotels in Riga during the third quarter of 2015 were from Germany (14.6 percent), Russia (9 percent), Finland (7.5 percent), Estonia (6.7 percent), the United Kingdom (5.5 percent), Lithuania (5.5 percent), Sweden (4.8 percent), Norway (4.5 percent), Italy (4.3 percent) and Spain (3.7 percent).

Analyzing the figures about the growth in the number of tourists from the RTAB target countries, the steepest rise was observed for tourists from the United Kingdom (27.2 percent), Finland (18.1 percent), Spain (17 percent) and Italy (17.1 percent).

RTAB board chairwoman Vita Jermolovica said that the number of tourists had increased considerably in the third quarter of this year because only a 2 percent growth year-on-year had been registered in the same period in 2015. She said the number of tourists from the United States, Poland and France was growing and the RTAB was pleased to receive visitors from Asian countries which, although not high-priority markets, had great potential. Russian tourists, recognized as an important group of customers by many of the Latvian tourism and hospitality industry representatives, have again started coming to Riga in growing numbers.

Jermolovica said she expected steady growth in the number of tourists also in the last quarter of this year with majority of visitors coming to Riga for Christmas and New Year holidays.

The Riga Tourism Development Bureau (RTAB) was established in late 2009 by the Riga City Council (70 percent), the national air carrier Airbaltic (10 percent), the Latvian Hotel and Restaurant Association (10 percent) and the Association of Latvian Tourism Agents (10 percent) for promotion of tourism and Riga as a tourism destination for foreign travelers.


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