Q1 tourist numbers up 15% in Rīga

The number of nights visitors spent at Riga's hotels and other tourist facilities in Q1 of 2016 rose by 15% against the same period in 2015, the Riga Tourism Development Bureau's representative Anna Blaua told LETA.

The hotels and other tourist facilities in Riga received a total of 206,739 guests during the three-month period, or 6 percent people more than a year ago, according to information from the Central Statistics Bureau (CSB).

Of the tourists serviced at Riga's hotels and other tourist facilities in the first quarter of this year, 18.7 percent were from Russia, 10.1 percent from Estonia, 9.8 percent from Lithuania, 7.7 percent from Germany, 7.5 percent from the UK, 6 percent from Finland, 5.4 percent from Norway and 4 percent from Sweden.

During the first quarter of 2016, the number of tourists from Ukraine grew 34.9 percent, from Finland 29 percent, from the UK 17 percent, from Spain 15 percent, from Germany 11 percent and from Estonia, Lithuania and Russia 10 percent.

"Statistics for the first three months of this year are very positive and promising. We are seeing a gradual return of tourists from Russia, who are seen by many in the tourism industry as a significant part of the market. Of curse, it is too early still to comment on the overall increase in tourist numbers, but I think that the next three months will be equally good," said the Riga Tourism Development Bureau's board chairwoman Vita Jermolovica.

The highest occupancy rate in the first quarter of 2016 was recorded in March, when the figure rose by 5 percent from the same period last year to 40.8 percent.

In the first quarter of 2016 there were 124 tourist facilities with 14,697 beds in Riga.

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