Latvia, Russia team up on tourism

The Baltic Times
Mar 27, 2008
In cooperation with BNS

RIGA, Mar 27, BNS – Latvia and Russia have agreed in principle on wide cooperation in tourism, according to the Latvian Economics Ministry’s public relations department. The ministry has prepared a draft agreement with Russia and has launched its coordination at the national level. A joint Latvian-Russian tourism committee will be formed for implementation of the agreement. The agreement provides for wide cooperation between Latvian and Russian tourism agencies, organization of tourism visits, conferences, exchanging topical information, cooperating in international organizations, carrying out joint training and research and other items, the ministry said.

Russia has been identified as a priority country by Latvia’s Tourism Development State Agency (TAVA), which maintains an office in Moscow.

The ministry believes that Latvia has good chances to attract wealthy tourists from Russia, offering health tourism products – combining rehabilitation and medical services with tourism services.

The agreement will be signed after coordination procedure in both countries is completed.

Last year Latvia was visited by 343,000 tourists from Russia, up 26 percent from 2006. Almost 7 percent of all foreign tourists in Latvia came from Russia, with only Lithuania and Estonia providing larger numbers of tourists. Official figures say that a larger number of Latvians – 387,200 – headed the other way and visited Russia.

Travelers from Russia last year spent 38 million lats (EUR 54 mln) in Latvia as compared to 23.4 million lats in 2006, and their average stay in Latvia was 4.4 days.