Results of the survey of border crossings in 2005
In the 4th quarter of 2005 Latvian residents crossed the border 732 thsd times, an increase of 23% compared to the 4th quarter of 2004, according to the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia. For the most part the Latvian residents visited the neighbouring countries Lithuania (33%), Estonia (19%) and Russia (16%) and as the purpose of their trip mentioned visits to friends and relatives (29%), business (19%), shopping (18%) and recreation (17%).
The results of the survey also show that foreign visitors departing from Latvia in the 4th quarter of 2005 crossed the Latvian border 877 thsd times, up by 21% compared to the corresponding quarter of 2004. The highest number of foreign visitors has also arrived from the neighbouring countries: 42% from Lithuania and 24% from Estonia. 30% of the foreign travellers visited Latvia in transit but 24% of the visitors mentioned recreation as the main purpose of the trip, 15% - visits to their friends and relatives and 14% - business.
According to the CSB survey on border crossings for the year of 2005 show that for several years in succession the destination of the trip of Latvian travellers remains the same: the majority of travellers visit the neighbouring countries, for the most part Lithuania (30%), followed by Estonia (20%), Russia (14%) and Belarus (6%). Last year 74% of the travellers visited the countries of the European Union but 22% went to the CIS countries.
Of all the Latvian travellers who visited foreign countries in 2005, 28% had visited their friends and relatives, 22% mentioned recreation as the main purpose of the trip, 17% had made a business trip and 15% mentioned shopping as the main purpose of the trip. In recent years the number of those Latvian residents who mentioned recreation as the main purpose of their trip has increased. For example, in 1996 6% of the travellers went to foreign countries for recreation but in 2005 this proportion was already as high as 22%.
In 2005 Latvian travellers abroad spent 322 mln lats, an increase of 124 mln lats on the previous year (this amount does not include travel expenses, expenses on behalf of the employer and capital investments). It is worth noting that in 2005 Latvian travellers abroad spent by 132 mln lats more than foreign travellers in Latvia. 61 mln lats or 19% of the total expenditures abroad were made in Lithuania, 37 mln lats or 12% were spent in Russia and 35 mln or 11% in Germany. In total 223 mln lats were spent in the countries of the European Union but much less (53 mln lats) were spent in the CIS countries.
The average amount spent by one traveller per day has increased in 2005 to 35 lats (27 lats in 2004). If the main purpose of the trip was shopping, expenditures were considerably higher, on average 495 lats per day (374 lats per day in 2004).
In 2005 Latvian residents abroad stayed on average 3.2 visitor nights, 0.3 visitor nights more than in the previous year. The longest trips were made to the USA, Great Britain and Norway whereas the shortest - to Estonia and Lithuania.
62% of all travellers were same-day travellers, that is, they did not stay overnight in the country they visited; the length of the trip was 1-3 days for 16% of the travellers, 4-7 days for 13% but 9% of the travellers stayed abroad longer than one week.
Latvian travellers who stayed abroad longer than one day, assessed their trip mostly as very good and good. Trips to Slovakia. Italy, France and the USA were appreciated most highly.
Foreign travellers in Latvia
Foreign travellers departing from Latvia crossed its border 3774 thsd times, up by 741 thsd on the previous year, according to the results of the survey for 2005. 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 the survey, 31% of the foreign travellers had arrived in Latvia only in transit. 28% of the foreign visitors mentioned holidays as the main purpose of the trip, 14% came on a visit to their friends but 12% had made a business trip.
Mode of transport used by foreign travellers in crossing Latvia’s border
Last year the visitors stayed in Latvia on average 1.5 days, less than in the previous year (1.7). 70% of the total number of travellers were same-day travellers, that is, they did not stay overnight; for 21% the journey took 1-3 days, for 6% - 4-7 days and only 3% stayed in the country longer than 7 days. 52% of the foreign overnight travellers were accommodated in hotels and 24% stayed with their relatives and friends.
The results of the survey show that in 2005 37% of the overnight foreign visitors had arrived in Latvia for the first time. The most frequently visited places in Latvia were Riga (57% of the total number of overnight visitors) followed by Liepâja (9%), the district of Riga (6%) and Jûrmala (5%).
In 2005 foreign visitors in Latvia spent 190 mln lats, up by 48 mln lats on 2004 (this amount does not include travel expenses, expenditures on behalf of the employer and capital investment). Largest amounts in Latvia were spent by the travellers from Germany (21 mln lats) and Russiaa (20 mln lats). The travellers spent on average 33 lats per day but if the travellers were accommodated in a hotel, the average expenditures were notably higher (67 lats per day) while those who stayed with their relatives and friends spent on average 16 lats per day.
Prepared by the Transport and Tourism Statistics section