The first half of 2015 had all kinds of events related to Latvia’s presidency over the European Union Council. Even though the latest statistical data shows that Latvia’s hotels serviced 360.5 thousand foreign guests, survey data shows that 55% of those tourists had no idea about Latvia’s status as the presiding country in the EU and any of the organized events.
A total of 360.5 thousand guests were serviced in Latvia’s hospitals in Q1 2015, which is a 3.5% increase in comparison with Q1 2014, according to data from the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia.
«The fact that Latvia was the presiding country over the EU Council should have attracted more tourists. On the one hand, CSP data shows an increase in the number of tourists visiting Latvia. On the other hand, there is nothing to tie it with Latvia’s presidency. This is why it seems interesting for us to try and find out if foreigners even know that the country they travelled to is a presiding country,» – says the organizer of the survey, representative of Royal Square Hotel & Suites Ghulam Gulami.
60% of interviewed guests said they were in Latvia for the first time in their lives. 40% mentioned they had been in Latvia before. 55% of respondents claimed they had no idea that Latvia was a presiding country and they were not aware there were any events organized in association with this. Although 45% of respondents said they were informed of Latvia’s status as a presiding country, 65% of them said they did not expect a wide range of entertainment venues and events.
«The fact that the majority of tourists were not informed of Latvia’s presidency and related events shows that we did not use this opportunity to its full extent. Revenue from tourism is not as optimistic as we had expected,» – said Gulami.
Only 10% of respondents attended some of the EU events in Latvia. 65% of foreigners said they did not attend any EU events. When asked why, tourists said they have no interest for such events.
In general, foreign guests are satisfied with their visit to Latvia; 95% mentioned how they felt secure in Latvia and commented how helpful and friendly Latvian citizens were during their visit. 55% of respondents said their main goal of visiting Riga was leisure. 45% said they were on a business trip. 75% of respondents said they would gladly visit Latvia again, 20% had doubts and only 5% of respondents said they do not plan to visit Latvia again.
The survey was carried out over the course of June by Royal Square Hotel & Suites. A total of 462 respondents from Norway, Germany, France, Finland, Australia, Switzerland, Belgium, Ireland, Sweden, Russia and Ukraine participated in this survey.