Results of the traveller survey in the 1st

17.05.2006

The Central Statistical Bureau has conducted its current survey of persons crossing the state border at the border checkpoints. Both Latvian residents coming back from foreign countries were surveyed, as were non-resident visitors departing from Latvia.

Foreign travellers in Latvia

In comparison with the corresponding quarter of 2005, the number of foreign visitors to Latvia in the 1st quarter this year rose by 30%, according to results of the survey.

In total, foreign travellers in the 1st quarter of 2006 crossed Latvia’s border 845 thsd times and 70% of the total number of visitors stayed in Latvia less than 24 hours. The average length of stay of the visitors in this country was 1.4 visitor nights. Overnight visitors stayed in Latvia on average 4.0 visitor nights (3.9 visitor nights in 2005).

The majority of foreign visitors came from the neighbouring countries: 44% of the total number of travellers had come from Lithuania, 26% from Estonia, 5% from Russia, 5% from Poland, 4% from Finland and 3% from Germany.

In regard of the purpose of the trip, 28% of the foreign travellers had visited Latvia only in transit, 26% had come for recreation, 15% mentioned business as the purpose of the trip and 13% had visited friends and relatives.

In the 1st quarter of 2006 foreign visitors spent 42.1 mln lats in Latvia (this amount does not include travel expenses, expenditures on instructions of the employer and capital investments), an increase of 10.3 mln lats or 32% on the corresponding period last year. The travellers spent on average 36 lats per day, up by 1 lats on the corresponding period of the previous year. The travellers from Lithuania spent the largest amounts (7.8 mln lats) followed by the travellers from Germany (3.9 mln lats), Great Britain (3.9 mln lats), Estonia (3.7 mln lats), Finland (3.2 mln lats), Russia (2.9 mln lats) and Ireland (2.9 mln lats).

30% of the foreign visitors stayed in Latvia longer than 24 hours. Of those travellers who stayed in Latvia overnight, 58% were accommodated in hotels and similar establishments but 24% stayed with their relatives or friends. Of the total number of overnight travellers, 26% had visited Latvia for the first time.

The source of information about Latvia for foreign travellers was mainly their previous visits (24%), relatives and friends (20%), the Internet (16%), business information (13%), mass media (12%) and tourist guides (6%).

The table below shows how non-resident overnight travellers evaluate their trip.

Assessment of the components characterising the trip

(in per cent)

  

Total

Evaluation

Good

Satisfactory

Bad

Difficult to answer

Quality of services

100

80.7

17.5

1.0

0.8

Price/quality relationship of goods

100

66.2

30.1

1.5

2.2

Responsiveness of people

100

74.9

21.0

2.9

1.2

Cleanliness of towns

100

68.4

24.4

4.4

2.8

Entertainment opportunities

100

58.2

15.8

1.2

24.8

Knowledge of foreign languages

100

63.5

25.6

5.3

5.6

Latvian travellers abroad 

Coming back from foreign countries, Latvian residents in the 1st quarter of 2006 crossed the state border 609 thsd times, an increase of 11% compared to the 1st quarter of the previous year.

The majority of Latvian travellers had visited the neighbouring countries Lithuania (33%), Estonia (18%), Russia (14%) and Belarus (6%). Of all the Latvian travellers who crossed the state border coming back from foreign countries in the 1st quarter of 2006, 27% had visited their friends and relatives, 26% mentioned recreation as the purpose of their trip, 16% mentioned business as the main purpose of the trip but 11% had been on a shopping tour. Latvian residents abroad had stayed on average 3.3 visitor nights, the same as in the corresponding period last year.

In the 1st quarter of 2006 Latvian travellers abroad spent in total 68.3 mln lats, an increase of 5.6 mln lats or 9% compared to the 1st quarter of 2005 (this amount does not include travel expenses, expenses on instructions of the employer and capital investments). It still holds true that Latvian travellers abroad spend considerably more money than foreign travellers in Latvia do. Latvian travellers have spent 16.1 mln lats in Lithuania, 7.9 mln lats in Russia, 5.5 mln lats in Great Britain, 4.4 mln lats in Germany, 4.2 mln lats in Italy and 1.4 mln lats in Estonia. Resident travellers in the countries of the European Union spent 47.3 mln lats and in the CIS countries 10.7 mln lats.

Latvian travellers abroad have spent on average 34 lats per day. If shopping was mentioned as the main purpose of the trip, the average amount spent per day was 693 lats.

As usual, men were the most active overnight travellers (56%). The most typical age of the travellers was from 25 to 44 years (57% of the total number of travellers). The purpose of the trip of these travellers to foreign countries was a visit to their friends and relatives, recreation and business. Younger travellers (15-24 years) preferred recreational trips as well as visits to their friends and relatives while elderly resident travellers have made foreign trips mainly for the purpose of visiting their relatives and friends.

48% of the Latvian travellers assessed their foreign trip as very good, 37% as good, 13% as satisfactory and 2% as bad.

Assessment of the foreign trip by country

(in per cent)

Total

Of which evaluated the trip as

Very
good

good

Satis-
factory

bad

Very
bad

Total

100

48.4

36.7

12.6

1.9

0.4

Of which travellers returning from

Austria

100

59.2

33.2

7.6

-

-

Belarus

100

35.5

45.7

18.2

0.6

-

France

100

61.3

23.9

10.3

4.5

-

Estonia

100

54.9

32.3

11.1

-

1.7

Russia

100

40.6

33.5

18.5

6.0

1.4

Lithuania

100

48.0

34.4

15.5

2.1

-

Poland

100

26.9

43.4

22.5

7.2

-

Finland

100

39.3

40.0

20.7

-

-

Ukraine

100

43.6

38.6

12.9

4.9

-

Germany

100

28.4

52.7

13.6

5.3

-

Sweden

100

53.8

43.6

2.6

-

-

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