Visitor numbers up in 2015

More than 2 million visitors came to Latvia last year, making the country one of a select few tourism destinations to boast more visitors than the population of the country itself (currently just below 2 million). 

According to data released Wednesday by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB), in 2015, 2.1 million foreign visitors stayed in Latvian accommodation establishments, which is 2.0% more than in 2014.

As compared with 2014, the number of foreign visitors grew by 3.1%, reaching 1.5m. The average length of a stay of foreign visitors in accommodation establishments was virtually unchanged at 2 nights.

The number of visitors from Russia decreased by 31.5 %; however, this drop was compensated by growth in the total number of foreign visitors from the European Union countries – Lithuania (of 19.8%), the United Kingdom (of 17.9%), Estonia (of 15.0%), Sweden (of 12.4%) and Finland (of 10.6%).

Of all foreign visitors 79.1% stayed in Riga, 8.2 % - in Jūrmala, 1.7 % - in Sigulda county, 1.5% - in Ventspils, 1.5% - in Liepāja.

The capital fared particularly well with 1.3m visitors hosted in accommodation establishments in Riga, which is 4.6% more than in 2014. The number of foreign visitors in Riga increased by 3.9%.

Though relatively small in total numbers, several countries saw spectacular increases in the number of visitors they were sending to Latvia.

Japan saw visitor numbers climb 38% to 21,000 while Belgian visitor numbers rose an incredible 53% to 50,000.  

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