Results of the survey of border crossings in 2006

22.02.2007

Results of the sample survey of border crossings show that in 2006 Latvian residents crossed the state border 3.1 mln times, an increase of 7.6% on 2005, according to the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB). For already several years the destination of the Latvian travellers has not changed: the majority of travellers still prefer the neighbouring countries, most often Lithuania (33%), followed by Estonia (17%), Russia (11%) and Belarus (6%). Last year 77% of the travellers departed to the countries of the European Union and 18% - to the CIS countries.

 

Mode of transport used by Latvian travellers in crossing the state border
(in per cent)

 

Of all the Latvian travellers who visited foreign countries in 2006, 27% had visited their relatives and friends, 24% mentioned recreation as the main purpose of the trip, for 14% the main purpose was business and for 14% it was shopping. The number of Latvian residents with recreation as their purpose of the trip has increased in recent years. For example, in 1996 6% of the travellers went abroad with the purpose of recreation but in 2006 this number was already as high as 24%

In 2006, Latvian travellers abroad spent 405 mln lats, up by 83 mln lats on the previous year (this amount does not include travel expenses, expenditures on instructions of the employer and capital investments). It is worth noting that in 2006 the expenditures of Latvian travellers abroad were by 138 mln lats higher than the expenditures of foreigners in Latvia. The travelllers spent 93 mln lats in Lithuania (23% of total expenditures abroad), 41 mln lats or 10% in Germany and 35 mln lats or 9% in Russia. In total 286 mln lats were spent in the countries of the European Union. Considerably less (49 mln lats) was spent in the CIS countries.

In 2006 the expenditures of one traveller per day was 34 lats, one lats less than in 2005. If the purpose of the trip was shopping, expenditures were considerably higher, 612 lats on average per day (495 lats per day in 2005).

Latvian residents in 2006 stayed abroad on average 3.8 visitor nights, which is by 0.6 visitor-nights more than in the previous year. The longest trips were made to Great Britain, Ireland and the USA but the shortest to Estonia and Lithuania.

59% of the total number of travellers were same day travellers, that is, they did not stay overnight in the country they visited; for 17% of the travellers the length of the trip was 1-3 days, for 14% it was 4-7 days but 10% of the travellers stayed abroad longer than one week.

INDICATORS CHARACTERISING LATVIAN TRAVELLERS
(sample survey data)

Robežšķērsojumu
skaits, tūkst.

Kopējie
izdevumi ārzemēs,
milj. latu

Vidējais
ceļojuma ilgums,
diennaktis

Viena ceļotāja
vidējie izdevumi
diennaktī, latos

2000

2589

147.9

2.6

22

2001

2651

137.0

2.8

19

2002

2310

137.4

3.4

18

2003

2299

182.5

3.6

22

2004

2456

197.5

2.9

27

2005

2894

322.0

3.2

35

2006

3114

404.6

3.8

34


Latvian travellers who stayed in foreign countries longer than one day evaluated their trip as very good and good (87%). The highest evaluation was given to the trips to Spain, the USA, Switzerland and Slovakia.

FOREIGN TRAVELLERS IN LATVIA

In 2006 foreign outgoing travellers crossed Latvia’s border 4.6 mln times, an increase of 23%, compared with the previous year. The majority of foreign visitors came from the neighbouring countries Lithuania and Estonia. 89% of the foreign visitors came from the countries of the European Union.

According to survey data, 25% of the foreign visitors had been in Latvia only in transit. 30% of the foreign visitors mentioned holidays as their main motive for the trip, for 14% of the foreign visitors it was visits to their friends and relatives but 13% mentioned business as their purpose of the trip.

 

Mode of transport used by foreign travellers in crossing Latvia’s border
(in per cent)


Last year similarly as in the year before the last one, the visitors stayed in Latvia on average 1.5 days. 67% of the travellers were same day visitors, that is, they did not stay overnight in the country; for 23% the trip lasted 1-3 days, for 7% - 4-7 days and only 3% stayed in the country more than 7 days. 54% of the foreign overnight travellers were accommodated in hotels but the remaining travellers stayed in private and other places of accommodation.

In 2006, 36% of the overnight visitors came to Latvia for the first time, according to the survey results. The most frequently visited places in Latvia were Riga (48% of the total overnight travellers), Jūrmala (9%) Liepāja (5%) and Sigulda (5%).

In 2006 foreign visitors spent 266 mln lats in Latvia, up by 76 mln lats on 2005 (this amount does not include travel expenses, expenditures on instructions of the employer and capital investments). The largest amounts in Latvia were spent by the travellers from Lithuania (33 mln lats) and Germany (31 mln lats). The travellers spent on average 39 lats per day but if they were accommodated in a hotel, their average expenditures were notably higher – 67 lats per day. Those travellers who stayed with their relatives and friends spent on average 19 lats per day.

INDICATORS CHARACTERISING FOREIGN TRAVELLERS
(sample survey data)

Number of border crossings, thsd

Total expenditure in Latvia, mln lats

Average length of trip, visitor nights

Average daily expenditure per traveller, lats

2001

2039

70.8

1.8

19

2002

2273

96.0

2.1

20

2003

2470

124.4

1.9

27

2004

3033

141.9

1.7

27

2005

3774

190.0

1.5

33

2006

4645

266.2

1.5

39

Foreign travellers were for the most part satisfied with their visit to Latvia, appreciating in particular the quality of services, responsiveness of people and cleanliness of towns. The entertainment opportunities, the knowledge of foreign languages by local population as well as the goods price/quality relationship was given a relatively lower assessment.

In the 4th quarter of 2006 Latvian residents crossed the border 725 thsd times, down by 1% compared to the 4th quarter of 2005. Latvian residents for the most part travelled to the neighbouring countries Lithuania (29%), Estonia (16%) and Russia (10%) and mentioned visits to friends and relatives (27%), recreation (19%), shopping (15%) and business (15%) as the main purpose of the trip.

The outgoing foreign visitors, in turn, crossed Latvia’s border in the 4th quarter of 2006 995 thsd times, up by 14% in comparison with the corresponding quarter of 2005. The highest number of foreign visitors has likewise arrived from the neighbouring countries Lithuania (38%) and Estonia (28%).

28% of the foreign travellers visited Latvia in transit but 24% mentioned recreation as the main purpose of the trip, 15% had visited friends and relatives and 14% had come on business trips.

Prepared by the Transport and Tourism Statistics Section
Tel. 7366810
Edīte Miezīte