In 2015, 6.8 million foreign travellers visited Latvia, which is 9.5 % more than in 2014. Last year foreign travellers spent EUR 742.2 million in Latvia, which is EUR 73.7 million or 11 % more than in 2014.
The largest share of foreign travellers came from Lithuania (38.6 %), Estonia (19.4 %), Russia (8.3 %) and Sweden (4.9 %), according to data from the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia.
30.3 % of foreign travellers visited Latvia for recreation, 16.2 % visited friends or relatives, and 11.7 % went on a business trip. The majority of travellers who visited Latvia used road transport (67.5 %), followed by air transport (26.2 %), sea transport (5.1 %), and only 1.3 % used railway.
In 2015, 2.0 million foreign travellers spent more than one day in Latvia, and more than one third of them (33.5 %) visited Latvia for the first time. Last year overnight travellers spent EUR 540.8 million in Latvia, which is 4.6 % more than in 2014. These travellers stayed on average 4 days in Latvia (in 2014 – 4.2 days), and spent on average EUR 66.30 daily (EUR 0.30 less than a year before). Overnight travellers from the USA spent the longest time in Latvia (8.7 nights), followed by travellers from Ireland (8.6 nights), the United Kingdom (6.9 nights) and Russia (6.8 nights).
Compared to 2014 growth was recorded in the number of overnight travellers from Lithuania (of 30.2 %), from Estonia (of 56.8 %), from Germany (of 7.9 %), and from Finland (of 35.1 %). Due to the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union the number of foreign visitors from Belgium grew by 49.5 %. If in 2014 the number of overnight travellers from Russia increased by 4.5 %, then in 2015 it fell by almost a fifth or 19.7 %.
In 2015 foreign travellers from Russia spent the largest amount of money in Latvia (18.1 %), followed by travellers from Lithuania (9.9 %), and Germany (9.8 %). On average the largest amounts per day were spent by travellers from Norway (EUR 114.30), Finland (EUR 107.90), Austria (EUR 106.20) and Denmark (EUR 99.20). In turn, the smallest amounts were spent by overnight travellers from Ireland (EUR 41.10), Belarus (EUR 42.40), Estonia (EUR 48.60), Czech Republic (EUR 50.50), and Russia (EUR 51.90).
44.7 % of the foreign overnight travellers visited Latvia for recreation, 27.2 % visited friends or relatives, and 23.6 % went on a business trip. As compared to 2014 the number of overnight travellers, who visited Latvia for recreation increased by 11.7 %. The largest share (about 60 %) of travellers from Estonia, Finland, Germany and Sweden visited Latvia for recreation. In turn, more than a half of travellers came from Russia, Belarus and the United Kingdom visited friends or relatives; from Ireland – almost 73 % of travellers.
60.3 % of foreign travellers chose to stay in hotels and similar establishments, and 33.2 % in private accommodation establishments (at own second home or with relatives and friends).