The average number of nights spent by travelers in Riga last year grew 10%, totaling 1,953,199 night-stays.
Although the number of Russian tourists in Riga decreased 6.5% last year, tourists from Russia still account for the largest number of Riga hotel guests.
Russian tourists made up 18.4% of all tourists in Riga hotels and other accommodations last year, tourists from Germany - 11.9%, Estonia - 7.2%, Lithuania - 6.3%, Norway - 5.8%, Finland - 5.7%, Sweden – 5%, Great Britain - 4.8%.
The number of British tourists in Riga increased the most last year – by 50%. The number of German tourists grew 40%, tourists from Belgium – 35%, Denmark and Belarus – 30% each, The Netherlands – 20%.
In addition to the formal data above, other factors need to be kept in mind. First, Riga was visited by dozens of cruise liners last year, whose passengers stay for just one day and therefore are not included in the Statistical Bureau's data. For instance, almost 700,000 passengers traveled on the "Tallink" ferry line between Latvia and Sweden in 2014. Second, nearly one-third of tourists visiting Riga do not stay in hotels or other accommodations but prefer alternative lodgings, according to the Riga Tourism Development Bureau.
"Based on the information and statistics we have, it is safe to say that the total number of tourists in Riga reached 2 million in 2014. We were hoping very much that it would happen, and it did thanks to fruitful co-operation in the sector. Last year brought about a remarkable drop in the number of Russian tourists, we therefore decided to re-focus on Western countries, which made it possible to maintain steady growth in the number of tourists. Our marketing activities and participation in various fairs were also contributing factors," the Riga Tourism Development Bureau’s board member Vita Jermolovica explained..
At the end of 2014, there were 119 registered tourist accommodations offering a total of 13,871 beds in Riga.