Liepāja city sees growing tourism numbers

Liepāja is experiencing an increase in tourist numbers this summer – nearly 30 thousand city guests have been received in Q2 of this year. That is 15% more than last year during the same time, TV Kurzeme reported on August 30.

The average length of the traveler's stay at Liepāja accommodation has also reached nearly two days, indicating that the city is able to interest its guests to stay longer. The Liepāja Regional Tourism Bureau mentioned, as possible reasons, the removed restrictions on the pandemic, the broad offer of events and the warm weather conditions already experienced in May.

“It is primarily weather because we have the availability of the beach and also the extensive opportunities of what to do on the beach, as well as the various events that were unchanged this year in Liepāja – Summer Sound, Brainstorm, the aviation show, various sports camps and tournaments,” said Gita Stankus, head of the Maestro Design Hotel.

In Q2 of this year, tourists from 77 different countries stayed In Liepāja. Most often from Lithuania, Germany, and Estonia.

"This quarter in the top 10 we have contries like Poland, Denmark, Sweden, which were below the top 10 before. This could be due to the fact that there was a lot of heat in the southern regions in May and June, so in particular the people of Scandinavian countries chose to travel to more understandable climate conditions," Liepāja Regional Tourism Information Office Board member Sintija Pusaudze conceded.

A popular site, observed by the tourism center, has been the Karosta [Naval Port] prison for many years. An average of 12,000 tourists visit Europe's only military prison open for visitors every summer.

Representatives of the Karosta prison have observed that the number of tourists has returned to pre-pandemic rates.

“A pronounced trend for us was Scandinavians. We felt a lot of Finns coming. At times, there are even several families in one hour, just from Finland. Of course, brothers Lithuanians – they are popular with us, they come with families and buses,” said Liepāja Karosta prison administrator Lāsma Ruzgailo.

Foreign tourists who TV Kurzeme met in the Karosta prison said they had chosen to visit Liepāja because of its history.

“I am interested in history and what happened during the Soviets and how the Latvians achieved independence. I wanted to learn more about the horrific events that took place here. [The museum] didn't disappoint me. It was good,” Leonardo, a tourist from Lebanon, said.

On the other hand, a tourist from Germany, Heidi, said she had come to Liepāja especially for the Karosta prison: “As the Baltic region is very rich in historical events, we decided that we must see this place.”

The Central Statistical Bureau indicated that in the second quarter of this year, Latvian tourist accommodation handled nearly 14% more tourists than last year. More than 630 thousand foreigners have visited Latvia during Q2.

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