In 2017, the number of nights spent by tourists in accommodation facilities in Latvia increased by 12.1% compared to 2016. All in all, this amounted to 4.951 million overnight stays, according to the Central Statistical Bureau, and represents positive data for Latvian tourism.
The number of overnight stays by foreign tourists increased by 11.9% in 2017. Domestic tourism, meanwhile, rose by 12.6% to 1.544 million. Most foreigners arriving in Latvia in 2017 were Russians – 241 thousand. They were followed by Germans (207 thousand), Lithuanians (181 thousand) and Estonians (161 thousand).
According to the Latvian tourism data, some significant increases of inflow were from Canada (4.9 times more), Israel (41.8%) or Denmark (16.6%). Russian inflow rose by 15.6%, as did the arrivals from France. Another interesting fact is that more than a third (34.9%) of the tourists were guests from neighboring countries – Russia, Lithuania, Estonia and Belarus.
Great increase at the end of the year
In the fourth quarter of the last year, 521,700 guests stayed in local accommodation facilities. This is an increase of 12.8% compared to 2016. Tourists spent 991.7 thousand nights in hotels during this quarter, marking a 9.9% increase. The number of foreign tourists increased by 14.2% and amounted to 360.5 thousand people.
However, despite this positive increase, Latvian tourism numbers are still behind their Baltic neighbors – Lithuania and Estonia – in terms of tourism inflow.
According to preliminary data, Lithuania was the most successful Baltic state with 7.2 million overnight stays in 2017. This is an increase of 3.3% compared to 2016. Meanwhile, Estonia registered 6.5 million overnight stays (4.3% increase).
The number of overnight stays of foreign guests also increased in 2017 – by 3.9% to 3.4 million. The number of overnight stays of locals increased by 2.8% to 3.8%.