Results of the survey of border crossings in 2007

28.02.2008

The Central Statistical Bureau has carried out a current sample survey on persons having crossed the state border at the border checkpoints. This survey is being carried out since 1996. Both residents returning from foreign countries and foreign visitors leaving Latvia are surveyed.

LATVIAN TRAVELLERS

Results of the sample survey of border crossings show that in 2007 Latvian residents crossed the state border 3.4 mln times, an increase of 8% on 2006, 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 (37%), followed by Estonia (15%) and Russia (11%). Last year 80% of the travellers departed to the countries of the European Union and 15% - to the CIS countries.

Of all the Latvian travellers who visited foreign countries in 2007, 27% mentioned recreation as the main purpose of the trip, 26% had visited their relatives and friends, for 15% 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 2007 this number was already as high as 27%.

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

In 2007, Latvian travellers abroad spent 485 mln lats, up by 80 mln lats on the previous year (this amount does not include travel expenses, expenditures on instructions of the employer and capital investments). The travellers spent 117 mln lats in Lithuania or 24% of total expenditures abroad, 54 mln lats or 11% in Germany and 37 mln lats or 8% in Russia. . In total 361 mln lats were spent in the countries of the European Union. Considerably less (45 mln lats) were spent in the CIS countries.

In 2007 the expenditures of one traveller per day was 37 lats, 3 lats more than in 2006. If the purpose of the trip was shopping, expenditures were considerably higher, 627 lats on average per day (612 lats per day in 2006).

Latvian residents in 2007 stayed abroad on average 3.8 visitor nights, which is the same as in the previous year.

57% of the total number of travellers was 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 15% it was 4-7 days but 11% of the travellers stayed abroad longer than one week.

INDICATORS CHARACTERISING LATVIAN TRAVELLERS
(sample survey data)

Number of border crossings, in thsd

Total expenditures abroad, mln lats

Average length of trip, visitor nights

Average daily expenditures per traveller, lats

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

2007

3376

484.8

3.8

37

50% of Latvian travellers who stayed in foreign countries longer than one day evaluated their trip as very good, 36% - as good, 13% - as adequate, and only 1% - as poor.

FOREIGN TRAVELLERS IN LATVIA

In 2007 foreign outgoing travellers crossed Latvia’s border 5.2 mln times, an increase of 13%, compared with the previous year, according to the survey results of 2007. The majority of foreign visitors came from the neighbouring countries Lithuania and Estonia. 86% of the foreign visitors came from the countries of the European Union and 10% - from the CIS countries.

Foreign travellers by countries (in per cent)

According to survey data, 29% of the foreign visitors had been in Latvia only in transit. 26% 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, as well as business but 6% mentioned shopping as their purpose of the trip.


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

In 2007 similarly as in 2006, the visitors stayed in Latvia on average 1.4 days. 68% of the travellers were same day visitors, that is, they did not stay overnight in the country; for 22% the trip lasted 1-3 days, for 7% - 4-7 days and only 3% stayed in the country more than 7 days. 74% of the foreign overnight travellers were accommodated in hotels but the remaining travellers stayed in private and other places of accommodation.

In 2007, 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 (67% of the total overnight travellers), Jurmala (7%) and Liepaja (6%).

In 2007, foreign travellers spent 338 mln lats in Latvia, up by 72 mln lats on the 2006 (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 (46 mln lats) and Russia (38 mln lats). The travellers spent on average 47 lats per day but those travellers who stayed with their relatives and friends spent on average 25 lats per day. Foreign travellers who mentioned shopping as the main purpose of the trip on average spent 282 lats per day (228 lats in 2006).

INDICATORS CHARACTERISING FOREIGN TRAVELLERS
(sample survey data)

Number of border crossings, in thsd

Total expenditures in Latvia, mln lats

Average length of trip, visitor nights

Average daily expenditures 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

2007

5236

338.0

1.4

47

Foreign travellers were for the most part satisfied with their visit to Latvia. The following table shows how foreign overnight travellers evaluate their trip to Latvia.

Assessment of indicators characterising the trip
(in per cent)

Total

Including assessment:

good

adequate

poor

don’t know

Quality of services

100

68.7

26.3

2.2

2.8

Commodity price/ quality adequacy

100

54.7

35.0

6.2

4.1

Responsiveness of people

100

65.5

28.3

3.2

3.0

Cleanliness of towns

100

66.0

27.5

3.4

3.1

Entertainment

100

51.9

21.5

1.9

24.7

Language skills of the locals

100

52.2

34.0

7.7

6.1

RESULTS OF THE 4TH QUARTER

In the 4th quarter of 2007 Latvian residents crossed the border 808 thsd times, up by 11% compared to the 4th quarter of 2006, according to Central Statistical Bureau. Latvian residents for the most part travelled to the neighbouring countries Lithuania (37%), Estonia (16%) and Russia (10%) and mentioned visits to friends and relatives (28%), recreation (23%), business (16%) and shopping (15%) as the main purpose of the trip.

The outgoing foreign visitors, in turn, crossed Latvia’s border in the 4th quarter of 2007 1167 thsd times, up by 17% in comparison with the corresponding quarter of 2006. The highest number of foreign visitors has likewise arrived from the neighbouring countries Lithuania (34%) and Estonia (26%).

28% of the foreign travellers visited Latvia in transit but 21% mentioned recreation as the main purpose of the trip, 17% had come on business trips, 14% had visited friends and relatives and 7% mentioned shopping as the main purpose of the trip.

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