Last year foreign travellers stayed in Latvia for longer, but spent less money
In 2016, foreign travellers crossed the border of Latvia 6.8 million times, which is 0.7 % less than during the previous year. Last year foreign travellers spent EUR 645.2 million in Latvia – EUR 97.0 million or 13.1 % less than in 2015.
In 2016, Latvia was visited by 1.8 million foreign overnight travellers (11.4 % less than in 2015), spending 12.3 % less and the expenditure amounting to EUR 474.4 million. Latvia was visited for the first time by 30.1 % of the foreign travellers. As compared to the previous year, the total number of nights spent increased by 7.6 %, reaching 8.8 million nights. Visitors stayed in Latvia for 4.9 days on average – 0.9 days more than in 2015, according to data from the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia.
Compared to the previous year, there was an increase in the number of foreign overnight travellers from Poland – of 8.6 %, Lithuania – of 8.5 %, Germany – of 6.7 %, and the United Kingdom – of 4.8 %. In turn, there was a decrease in the number of foreign overnight travellers from Sweden – of 37.1 %, Belgium – of 34.6 %, the Czech Republic – of 23.4 %, Russia – of 20.3 %, and Estonia – of 7.0 %.
Most of the overnight travellers (93.0 %) came to Latvia for tourism purposes, of which 47.7 % came for recreation, 26.1 % came to visit relatives and friends, and 19.2 % came on business trips. In turn, 7.0 % came to Latvia for other purposes, for example, to study.
The average expenditure per trip around Latvia amounted to 332.70 euros for those travelling alone and 209.41 euros for those travelling with family, friends, colleagues. The average daily expenditure for those travelling on their own amounted to 62.34 euros, whereas for those travelling with someone – 46.17 euros.
Out of the 8.8 million nights, 37.4 % were spent at rented or paid accommodation, while 62.6 % were spent at private or nonrented accommodation. On average, a single traveller spent 6.8 days at private accommodation, which is 3.6 days more than at a rented accommodation establishment (3.2 days on average).
Of all the foreign overnight travellers who crossed the border of Latvia in 2016, 49.8 % used road transport, 44.5 % used air transport, 2.1 % used sea transport and 3.6 % used rail transport.
Last year most of the same-day and overnight border crossings came from the neighbouring states of Lithuania (40.4 %), Estonia (20.6 %) and Russia (8.8%). There was an increase in the number of border crossings made by visitors from Germany (34.6 % more), Poland (24.1 %), Austria (16.5 %), Hungary (14.0 %), and Israel (13.9 %). In turn, the border was crossed less times by visitors from Sweden (63.0 % less), Turkey (40.0 %), Denmark (39.2 %), Belgium (32.9 %), Ukraine (23.0 %), the Czech Republic (15.1 %), and Switzerland (13.3 %).
Last year the number of foreign traveller visits had increased by 34.8 % since 2010 and by 80.1 % since 2005. The expenditure of foreign travellers going on trips around Latvia has increased 2.4 times since 2005, whereas the number of nights spent by overnight travellers has grown 1.8 times. The average length of stay has reached the highest mark in recent years, nearing 5 days.