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Number of foreign tourists in Latvia fell by nearly two-thirds in 2020

In 2020 the number of visitors hosted at tourist accommodation establishments in Latvia plummeted as the effects of the coronavirus pandemic made themselves felt with more force as the year progressed.

Data complied by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) show that in 2020 the number of foreign and resident visitors comprised 1.46 million, which is 48.7 % less than in 2019 and is the lowest indicator recorded during the last ten years, which had previously seen strong growth in the tourism sector. 

The number of nights spent by visitors has reduced by 47.6 % and comprised 2.89 million nights.

At the beginning of 2020 – in January and February before the first cases of Covid-19 were recorded in Latvia – the number of visitors increased, but after the emergency situation in the country was declared on March 12 and later on November 9, travel opportunities both of resident and foreign visitors reduced sharply.

In 2020 the number of foreign visitors comprised 715,000, which is 63.3 % less than in 2019. The number of nights spent by them comprised 1.5 million – a drop of 60.9 %. The majority of foreign visitors came from Lithuania (178.4 thousand), Estonia (137.4 thousand), Russia (72.5 thousand), Finland (68.8 thousand), Germany (53.4 thousand), and the United Kingdom (25.4 thousand).

Latvia tourism 2020

Out of foreign visitors 55.6 % or 397.3 thousand came from neighbouring countries – Lithuania (25 %), Estonia (19.2 %), Russia (10.1 %) and Belarus (1.3 %).

Most foreign guests were hosted in Riga – 66.7 %, Jūrmala – 11.1 %, Liepāja – 3.8 %, Ventspils – 3.1 %, Sigulda municipality – 1.9 %, Daugavpils and Salacgrīva municipality – 1.2 %.

In 2020 the number of resident visitors comprised 748 thousand, which is 17.6 % less than in 2019. The number of nights spent by residents has reduced by 16.5 % and comprised 1.39 million.

Latvian visitors stayed mostly in Riga (21.5 %), Jūrmala (9.9 %), Liepāja (8 %), Daugavpils (4 %), Ventspils (3.6 %), Sigulda municipality (2.9 %), Salacgrīva municipality and Daugavpils municipality (2.4 %).

In the 4th quarter of 2020, as the severest restrictions were introduced, the number of foreign and resident visitors in Latvian tourist accommodation establishments fell even more sharply and comprised 183.4 thousand, which is 68.4 % less than in the same period of 2019. 

Visitors spent 408.3 thousand nights, which, compared to the corresponding period a year ago, is a drop of 64.1 %. In the last quarter of the year, the number of foreign visitors fell by 89.8 % and comprised 39.8 thousand, but the number of resident visitors reduced by 24.5 % and comprised 143.5 thousand.

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