Travelers discover local tourism wonders in Latvia

With border restrictions, many Latvians have taken to local tourism. Both travelers and tourism businesses say numbers of Latvian, Estonian and Lithuanian tourists have risen dramatically, Latvian Radio reported July 29.

Owners of campsites and guesthouses say they get many travelers who have originally planned to go somewhere exotic but wound up here in Latvia instead. And, it turns out, local tourism is a wonderful discovery for many.

''We had the most spiritual journey here in Latvia this summer. Beautiful, we could sit at the lake, watch the water move, and we needed nothing more... it's cool," said Santa Baumane from Valmiera, who had been used to travelling abroad for years. ''We spent our holiday twice a year abroad, this spring we had a plan to go to Morocco, but with the whole pandemic, our plans were canceled and then we had to think about what to do in Latvia. We figured out - let's go on an unplanned trip to Kurzeme."

Santa does not regret the trip to Kurzeme. She said that the main problem in touring Latvia is the weather, but it is also possible to adapt.

"The weather failed us a lot, but we woke up in the morning and then thought which way to go, and in fact we came to be in really nice places. For example, Liepāja - most often people go to some more popular tourist sites, but we just walked through the city one day from A to Z. You can really find and discover,” said Santa.

Many choose to visit the natural paths this summer, and therefore the Chairman of the Board of the Vidzeme Tourism Association, Raitis Sijāts, considers that the work that they have done has been appreciated:

''We were told some years ago - why are you developing this natural tourism offer, bike, pedestrians, and everything else... Well, we see it's very demanding right now. "

Touring Latvia this summer is really a revelation for many of us about what you can see, get to know, enjoy here and there, and plan future trips. Travelers Santa and Līga say plans are already in place.

'We've already made plans for the next trip around Latvia. (..) The coolest thing in Latvia is that you pick up a tent, a fishing rod and go out, that is the kind of mental fulfillment and the purification of the mind we didn't get abroad."

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