Russia is in fifth place in terms of the total number of tourists who visit Latvia. The reason for the new and positive tendency in visitor numbers should be looked for not in Russia, but in Latvia. Local administrations and travel agencies are paying ever more attention to our eastern neighbour. This is can be noted particularly in Riga and Jūrmala.
With the opening of information centres in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Latvia has widened its contacts within the Russian tourist industry. Cooperation with the Latvian Foreign Ministry has led to success in ensuring that the inhabitants of major Russian cities are not obliged to make the trip to Moscow or St. Petersburg to receive a visa. Documents can now be conveyed by the “Pony Express” courier service. Significant resources have also been invested in new advertising for Latvian tourism. Meanwhile, hotels and restaurants have been offering special discounts. The Latvian capital can accommodate 15,000 tourists at any one time, with rooms costing from 20 to 200 euros.
Jūrmala not lagging behind
Local residents in Jūrmala have done a lot to prepare for the summer tourist season. The role of coordinator is being carried out by the Riga Tourism Development Bureau. It is planned that there will be a special programme for visitors during the Latvian national holiday “Jāņi” at the end of June. In terms of activity, Jūrmala is not lagging behind the capital.
Jūrmala is a particularly pleasant place for drifting away into nostalgic memories. The city’s sanatoriums and many relaxation and leisure facilities have been visited by guests from all over the world over the last 40 years. Many large-scale music and cultural events have also been hosted here.
The seaside resort is once again preparing at full speed for the “Club of Young Wits” festival and the “New Wave” competition, which enjoy great popularity among citizens of Russia. Moreover, Jūrmala is devoting ever greater attention to medical tourism. The most popular Jūrmala sanatoriums “Jaunķemeri”, “Dzintarkrasts” and “Viktorija-91” have accumulated great experience in medical treatment and healthcare procedures, and possess up-to-date modern equipment. And what’s more: the staff of these treatment centres are fluent in the Russian.