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Latvian travelers abroad

Results of the Survey on Travellers in 2003

According to the survey results of the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia on the number of persons crossing Latvia’s border, 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 (28%), followed by Estonia (24%), Russia (17%) and Belarus (7%). Last years 15% (10% in 2002) of the travellers visited the countries of the European Union but 25% went to the CIS countries.

Of all the Latvian travellers who crossed the state border coming back from foreign countries in 2003, 23% indicated shopping as the main purpose of the trip, 27% had visited their friends and relatives, 21% mentioned recreation as the main purpose of the trip and 17% had made a business 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 2003 their number was already as high as 21%.

In 2003 Latvian travellers abroad spent 182 mln lats, an increase of 45 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 2003 Latvian travellers abroad spent by 58 mln lats more than foreign travellers in Latvia. 28 mln lats or 16% of the total expenditures abroad were made in Russia, 27 mln lats or 15% were spent in Lithuania and 23 mln or 13% in Germany. It is noteworthy that the expenditures in Lithuania have considerably decreased over the last years. In total 74 mln lats were spent in the countries of the European Union (38 mln lats in 2002) but much less (34 mln lats) were spent in the CIS countries.

The average amount spent by one traveller per day has increased to 22 lats (18 lats in 2002). If the main purpose of the trip was shopping, expenditures were considerably higher, on average 198 lats per day.

In 2002 Latvian residents abroad stayed on average 3.6 visitor nights, 0.2 visitor nights more than in previous year. The longest trips were made to the USA, Norway and Denmark 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 12% but 10% of the travellers stayed abroad longer than one week.

Survey of Travellers in the First Quarter of 2004

In the 1st quarter of 2004 on their way back home from abroad Latvian residents crossed the state border 447.8 thsd times, down by 2.7% on the 1st quarter last year (460.4 thsd times), according to the Main Department of the Border Guard. Similarly as in the previous surveys, most often the Latvian travellers visited the neighbouring countries Estonia (30%), Lithuania (27%), Russia (15%) and Belarus (5%). Latvian travellers spent 4.7 mln lats in Russia, 3.9 mln lats in Lithuania and 3.7 mln lats in Germany. Our travellers spent 14.8 mln lats in the countries of the European Union and 5.3 mln lats in the CIS countries.

In total, in the 1st quarter of 2004 Latvian travellers abroad spent 32.9 mln lats, up by 0.1 mln lats on the 1st quarter of 2003 (this amount does not include travel expenses, expenditures on behalf of the employer and capital investments).

Latvian travellers abroad spent on average 29 lats per day. If the main purpose of the trip was shopping, they spent 186 lats on average per day.

Of all the Latvian travellers who crossed the state border in the 1st quarter of 2004 departing from foreign countries, 17% mentioned recreation as the main purpose of the trip, 274 had visited relatives and friends, 18% had been on a shopping tour, but for 20% the main purpose of the trip was business. Latvian residents stayed abroad on average 2.6 visitor nights, which is less than in the corresponding period of the previous year (3.4 visitor nights).

Men were the most active overnight travellers (60%) and the most typical age of the travellers was within the range of 35 to 44 years (33% of the total number of travellers). The purpose of the travel of these travellers was mainly business (33%) and visiting relatives and friends (20%). Younger travellers aged 15-24 years preferred recreational trips (28%). The travellers aged over 65 years went abroad with the purpose to visit their relatives and friends. The share of such travellers was as high as 68%.

Of the total number of travellers, 81% had crossed Latvia’s border by road, 10% by air, 5% by rail and 4% by sea.

42% of the Latvian travellers assessed their foreign trip as very good, 41% — as good, 14% as satisfactory and only 2% assessed their trip as bad.

Assessment of the foreign trip by country

  Total Evaluation
Very good Good Satisfactory Bad Very bad
TOTAL 100 42.4 41.2 14.4 1.8 0.2
Of which travellers returning from
Austria 100 61.7 34.7 3.6 - -
Belarus 100 18.9 50.3 30.1 0.7 -
France 100 36.5 40.6 21.9 1.0 -
Estonia 100 43.0 42.2 9.4 4.7 0.7
Italy 100 68.1 22.2 9.7 - -
Russia 100 32.1 37.3 27.1 3.2 0.3
Lithuania 100 43.0 41.9 14.9 0.2 -
Poland 100 53.4 36.7 9.9 - -
Finland 100 52.0 34.9 10.6 2.5 -
Germany 100 40.7 49.1 9.0 1.2 -
Sweden 100 44.6 40.2 13.2 1.4 0.6

Source: Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia.

Latvian Travelers Abroad in 2009

In 2009, Latvian residents crossed the border of the country 3.1 mln times, which is less by 13.2% than in 2008. In 2008, on average Latvian travelers spent 4.7 visitor nights abroad.

Similarly as in previous surveys, also this time Latvian travellers visited neighbouring countries most often — Lithuania (30%), Russia (18%), Estonia (11%) and Germany (8%).

In 2009, Latvian travelers spent abroad 408.4 mln lats, this is 30% less than on the previous year.

In 2009, 35% of all Latvian overnight travelers who returned to Latvia had gone abroad for recreation, 28% — had visited relatives and friends, 20% mentioned business as the main purpose of the trip.

The majority of travelers (54%) were aged 25-44 years.

Survey on Latvian Travelers Abroad in First Half of 2010

In the first half of 2010, the residents of Latvia crossed the state border 1.394 mln times, which is by 2.4% more than during the same period of 2009. Similarly to previous years, in the first half of 2010 Latvians mostly traveled to neighbouring countries — Lithuania (28%), Russia (19%), Estonia (11%) and Germany (8%). The number of trips to the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain and Turkey has increased compared to the first half of 2009.

For the largest part of Latvian travelers (32%) who crossed the Latvian border in the first half of 2010 returning from foreign trips that lasted more than one day, 28% said their purpose was visits to relatives and friends, and for 20% traveled for business purposes.