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Number of tourists in Riga might grow 15% this year – Riga Investment and Tourism Agency

Riga could receive 15 percent more visitors this year than last year, when 1.2 million foreign visitors arrived in the Latvian capital, Ieva Lasmane, the head of the tourism department of the Riga Investment and Tourism Agency, told LETA.

She said that international or major events in Riga have a big impact on tourism flows – last year’s events included the World Ice Hockey Championship, the Song and Dance Festival, the Rimi Riga Marathon and the World Running Championship.

For example, the Rimi Riga Marathon last year attracted participants from 76 countries. During the marathon, the average daily spending for participants from the Baltic states was EUR 271, from the Nordic countries – EUR 352, from other European countries – EUR 298 and for travelers from the third countries – EUR 514.

Lasmane noted that the organization of the event attracted EUR 3.69 million of foreign money to the country’s economy, including EUR 1.649 million to Riga’s accommodation, restaurant and café sector.

“Given that tourism in Riga is highly seasonal – during the active period from May to September, Riga receives around 45 percent of the total number of tourists per year – reducing seasonality is one of the objectives of the Riga Investment and Tourism Agency,” said Lasmane.

At the same time, she said that before the war in Ukraine, about 14 percent of the total tourist flow came from Russia and Belarus, but now new target markets such as Poland, Finland, Norway, Sweden are being aimed to regain about 200,000 tourists lost in the markets of Russia and Belarus.

Lasmane pointed out that this year the most important highlights and events used in advertising campaigns abroad are Michelin Guide recommended restaurants and gastronomic culture, and content about other major events in Riga this year, such as the Rimi Riga Marathon, the FIA World Rally Championship stage Tet Rally Latvia, the Positivus music festival and others.

Asked about the financial resources planned for promoting Riga, Lasmane said that this year’s marketing budget for tourism promotion is EUR 1.3 million, which is the largest budget ever for marketing activities.

She explained that this includes a business tourism support program, advertising in airline marketing channels and international travel guides, advertising campaigns for major events, international marketing and public relations campaigns, including digital media activities, visits by Polish, Finnish and Norwegian journalists and opinion leaders, opinion articles, and advertisements in major tourism and lifestyle publications.

In 2023, Riga received 1.2 million foreign travelers, an increase of 22 percent compared to 2022.

Source: BNS

(Reproduction of BNS information in mass media and other websites without written consent of BNS is prohibited.)

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