The number of tourists in Riga sees a stable rise, reaching 1.2 million in 2023

Last year, the number of tourists in Riga for the first time since 2019 exceeded one million - the capital city was visited by 1.2 million guests. The number of tourists who spent nights in Riga hotels has increased by 22% compared to 2022.

Of the Riga target markets, the steepest growth—38%—was recorded among guests from Finland, followed by 30% from Sweden and Poland. The largest number of guests arrived from Lithuania (12%), Estonia (12%), Germany (8%), Finland (8%), and the UK (8%). As many as 980,000 guests stayed in hotels and slightly over 200,000 in apartments.

"Considering the year full of the significant events, the international communication activities and campaigns carried out by the sector's business representatives, associations and the Riga Investment and Tourism Agency (RITA), Riga has managed to achieve a significant rise of 22% in the number of tourists. Last year, we especially advertised the Christmas Fair in Old Riga and the illumination paths. As a result, we also saw a significant increase in the number of tourists also at the end of the year," 

admits Fredis Bikovs, Director of Riga Investment and Tourism Agency.

The proof of the interest of foreigners in Riga is the 6th place among the 20 European best Christmas fairs and illumination paths, as well as the 6th place at the top of the European Best Destinations, where more than one million travellers from 172 countries voted on the best destinations in Europe. Riga also won the 1st position in the Christmas fair top that ensured broad publicity in the UK.

The planned international activities in Riga in 2024

In 2024, the most significant activities in international communication will be carried out, excelling the opportunities offered by Riga in the summer and winter seasons, as well as presenting the restaurants recommended by Michelin Guide, as well as events important for Riga: Rimi Riga Marathon, Tet Rally Latvia stage of FIA World Rally Championship, Positivus festival, etc. Also, the traditional Riga Restaurant Weeks will be held in spring and autumn. The study shows that the number of tourists who find information on the destinations of their interest on social media is growing: in 2018, 7 per cent of respondents pointed out this channel as the primary source of information, while in 2023, this share rose to 30%. Therefore, emphasis has been placed on Riga's communication on social media.

"Almost 60% of tourists are ready to recommend Riga as an attractive travel destination. Therefore, we expect that interest in Riga in the European context could only grow. This year, we will work with the Scandinavian and Polish markets as a priority; the number of these guests will help to compensate for the drop in the Russian and Belarusian tourists that accounted for 14% of the overall tourism flow before the war started by Russia. To reduce the off-season influence, we actively work with the conference or business support program. In 2024, we plan a 20% rise in the number of tourists against 2023," 

said Fredis Bikovs.

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