Analytics, Latvia, Statistics, Tourism

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Tuesday, 21.05.2019, 04:06

Number of guests in Riga hotels and other tourist accommodations grows 7% in 2016

BC, Riga, 02.03.2017.Print version
In 2016, the number of guests in hotels and other types of accommodations in Riga grew by 7 percent year-on-year to 1,248,358, the Riga Tourism Development Bureau (RTAB) said, citing information from the Latvian Central Statistical Bureau.

he number of nights spent by guests at hotels and other tourist accommodation facilities in Riga has increased 6.7 percent from 2015 to 2.331,159 nights in 2016.

The total number of tourists visiting Riga last year is estimated around 2.3 mln.

Most foreign tourists staying at hotels in Riga in 2016 were from Germany (12.1%), Russia (12%), Estonia (8 %), Lithuania (7%), Finland (6.8%), the United Kingdom (6.2%), Norway (5.3%), Sweden (5%), Italy (3.2%) and the United States (3%).

Analyzing the figures about the growth in the number of tourists from the countries identified by the RTAB as priority and potential target countries, the steepest rise was observed for tourists from China (by 55.6%), the United States (37.4%), the United Kingdom (22.7%), Spain (21.6%) and Finland (18.5%).

"A growing number of tourists from faraway countries that are our potential target countries, such as the United States and China, come to Riga. The number of cruise ship passengers staying in Riga for more than 24 hours, thus using local hotels and other services here, is also growing," said RTAB board chairwoman Vita Jermolovica.

She noted that the number of Latvian residents staying at hotels in Riga had nearly doubled year-on-year and accounted for 24.7% of the total number last year.

The RTAB said that, when calculating the total number of tourists visiting Riga, other factors had to be taken into account in addition of the number of guests reported by hotels and other tourist accommodation facilities. The number of tourists served by the Riga port is one such factors, as these travelers come to the city for a day and do not stay in hotels therefore they do not appear in the official statistics. In addition, on average every third visitor uses short-term rental apartments or stays with relatives or friends.

The highest occupancy rates were reported by hotels in Riga in August (72.2%), July (69.5%) and June (67.7%t) last year.

In the fourth quarter of 2016, hotels and other tourist accommodation facilities in Riga received 271,433 guests, up 10.1% from the same period in 2015. Most of the foreign tourists were from Russia (14.1%), Estonia (9.9%), Lithuania (8.8 %), Germany (8.4%), the United Kingdom (6.7%) and Norway (6.3%). The steepest growth in the number of tourists from the RTAB target countries in percentage terms was recorded for tourists from Finland (28.9%), France (17.9%) and the United Kingdom (16.3%).

At the end of 2016, there were 119 tourist accommodation facilities with a total of 15,097 beds operating in Riga, up 4.6% from late 2015.

The Riga Tourism Development Office (RTAB) was established in late 2009 by the Riga City Council (70%), the national air carrier Airbaltic (10%), the Latvian Hotel and Restaurant Association (10%) and the Association of Latvian Tourism Agents (10%) for promotion of tourism and Riga as a tourism destination for foreign travelers.

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