RIGA - All inbound tourist trips in April have been cancelled amid a state of emergency that has been introduced in Latvia over the Covid-19 crisis and restrictions on international passenger traffic, Inga Kavaca, president the of the Latvian Association of Tour Agents and Operators, informed LETA.
Meanwhile, 60 percent of inbound tourist trips in May have been cancelled as well.
Kavaca admitted that the situation in the tourism industry not only in Latvia but also in the rest of Europe and the wider world, is critical at the moment.
Travel agencies receive information about border closures and suspension of passenger services in various countries on a daily basis. "The situation is changing and the number of restrictions and prohibitions keeps growing. The Latvian tourism industry is therefore on the verge of collapse, because there are no new bookings, and the trips that were scheduled in March and April have been cancelled," the head of the association said.
Kavaca underlined that inbound tourism, an important part of the Latvian economy, includes accommodation services, restaurants and other catering services, transport.
"Inbound tourism has come to a standstill. This means there is no work for the people employed in the industry. There is no demand from foreign tourists also in May. Meanwhile, tour operators and agents have been living and working in an emergency mode for three weeks already, helping Latvian travelers to change or postpone their trips and return in Latvia," Kavaca said, adding that it is not possible endure such exhausting work schedule forever.
As reported, in an effort to prevent Covid-19 from spreading further in Latvia, a state of emergency came into force on March 13, setting a number of tough restrictions. The state of emergency is in force until April 14.