Tourism is considered to be one of Latvia’s main drivers of economic development, an important source of export revenue and a key contributor to GDP. In 2014, tourism directly contributed 3.8% of Latvia’s total GDP of EUR 24.1 billion. Tourism exports increased by 4.4% over 2013 to reach EUR 935.7 million in 2014, representing 6.7% of total exports. Expenditure by international visitors also increased to an average of EUR 66 per tourist per day, an increase of 14.7% over 2013.
At the end of 2014, there were 544 accommodation establishments of different types in the country, with 14 873 rooms and 33 459 beds. Hotels and other similar accommodation recorded 2.1 million guests in 2014, an increase of 14% over 2013 levels. Of these, nearly 70% were international visitors who between them spent a total of 2.8 million nights in Latvia. Five source markets together accounted for 60% of total international tourist arrivals in 2014 - Russia (19%), Lithuania (14%), Estonia (10%), Sweden (9%) and Germany (9%).
Tourism employment of Latvia contributed 8% to total employment in 2014, providing almost 75 thousand jobs in tourism. The Majority is employed in passenger transport industry, food and beverage serving industry as well as cultural, sports and recreation industries.
Regarding domestic tourism, there were 11 million domestic trips altogether in 2014, of which 3 million included overnight stays and the rest 8 million were same-day visits, generating the domestic travel receipts of 127 million EUR.