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Slight reduction in number of guests staying at Latvian accommodation establishments

Photo: Kaspars Krafts/F64.
 RIGA, Nov 23 - Data of the Central Statistical Bureau shows that the number of visitors in hotels and other accommodation establishments in the third quarter of 2012 comprised 591,600 people. In comparison with the third quarter of 2011, there was a small drop – of less than one percent.

67.6 percent of all visitors were foreign tourists, while 32.4 percent were residents of Latvia. The proportion of visitors was similar also in previous reference periods. The number of Latvian visitors grew by 1.2 percent, while the number of foreign visitors reduced by 1.2 percent, when compared to the corresponding period of 2011.

The highest share of the foreign tourists stayed in Riga (278,200 persons or 69.5 percent), in Jurmala (10.7 percent) and in Ventspils (3.1 percent). The highest share of Latvian travelers stayed in Riga (18 percent), Liepaja (9.2 percent) and Ventspils (5.3 percent). Regardless of the fact that the above mentioned cities still have the leading positions, the number of persons staying in accommodation establishments near Roja and Sigulda have also increased during the third quarter. The number of both foreign and Latvian visitors in both Roja and Sigulda, as compared to the third quarter of 2011, has increased by more than 35 percent.

The highest number of Latvian visitors in hotels and other accommodation establishments was recorded in Kurzeme Province (western Latvia) - 56,200 or 30 percent. The share of Latvian visitors of the total visitor number differs in each region. The highest share of Latvian visitors was observed in Zemgale Province (southern Latvia) - 80 percent of total number of visitors in accommodation establishments, in Latgale Province (eastern Latvia) - 65 percent, in Vidzeme Province (northeastern Latvia) - 75 percent, and in Kurzeme Province - 63 percent, whereas in the area surrounding Riga the number comprises 24 percent, and in Riga - 11 percent of all visitors.

Shares of foreign visitors in breakdown by region not always are influenced by countries neighboring these regions. The highest share of visitors from neighboring countries was recorded in Kurzeme – there, 18 percent of all visitors came from Lithuania. Only three percent of visitors in Vidzeme came from Estonia, whereas visitors from Germany comprised a two times higher number. Share of Russian visitors in Latgale constituted nine percent, whereas the number of visitors from Poland accounted for eight percent.

At the end of the third quarter of 2012, 16,300 thousand rooms and 36,500 thousand beds were available in the accommodation establishments throughout Latvia.

The total number of overnight stays in the third quarter of 2012 reached 1.27 million, and it is 2.4 percent more than in the third quarter of 2011. In the third quarter of this year, foreign visitors on average stayed two nights - almost three percent more than during the corresponding period of 2011.

In the third quarter of 2012, total hotel occupancy rate in Latvia varied between 46 percent and 57 percent. The highest room occupancy was recorded in July - 57.4 percent. In July and August occupancy in several four-star hotels of Riga exceeded 90 percent and even reached 100 percent.

As compared to the corresponding quarter of the previous year, notable rise (33 percent) was observed in the number of tourists from Russia, showing the benefits from tourism advertising campaigns in Russian market. Also number of visitors from Belarus and the United States rose by more than 25 percent.

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