Graphic: Latvia's growing tourism industry

Latvia's tourism industry is growing steadily, with 2.3 million people having stayed at hotels and other types of accommodation in Latvia last year, which is 7.7% more than in 2015, according to data by the Central Statistics Office

The number of both foreigners and locals staying in Latvia has grown steadily each year since the 2009 crisis.

There were 316 registered hotels in 2016 with ten of them built last year. However the number of guest houses and caravan sites has shrunk. A total 52 caravan sites were officially registered in Latvia but there were only 16 last year.

 

Most tourists still came from Russia with the number of visitors from that country having grown slightly-- last year 208.8 thousand people from Russia visited Latvia, which is a 2.5% increase on year. 

The number of Russian tourists dropped rapidly after the country's economy was hit by sanctions following its occupation of Crimea in 2014. In 2015 the number of visitors from Russia dropped to 203,000 from 310,000 in 2013. 

However the decreasing number of Russian visitors was more than offset by tourists from other countries.

For example, the number of Chinese tourists grew an astonishing 57.8% to about 20,500 last year. The number of visitors from the US grew 34% and there were 27.5% more Israeli tourists last year over 2015. 

Locals have also become more active in exploring their own country with the number of Latvians staying in accommodation establishments having doubled since 2009.

However most tourists only stay in Rīga with 80% choosing to stay in the capital. A further 7.3% stayed in Jūrmala, 1.7% in Liepāja, 1.6% in Ventspils and 1.1% in Daugavpils.

Visit Latvia's official tourism website for ideas over what to do on your Latvian getaway.

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