RIGA - According to a study carried out by the Latgale regional tourism association Ezerzeme, losses sustained by the tourism sector in Latgale have already reached EUR 600,000.
The association has conducted a survey of companies operating in the tourism industry in order to identify the situation in Latgale and to forward the obtained data and recommendations from entrepreneurs to help solve the situation to the Ministry of Economics.
Currently, more than 80 tourism service providers, representing all regions of Latgale, have provided answers to the survey. Of the surveyed, 40 percent are accommodation establishments, 15 percent are catering providers, 15 percent are museums and private collections owners, 15 percent are recreational establishments, and the remaining 15 percent are tour operators, as well as event organizers and tourism information providers.
Tourist and entertainment providers' losses on bookings, cancellations of activities and events amount to EUR 600,000, excluding staff remuneration, maintenance and other operating expenses, according to the survey.
Slightly more than 22 percent of the surveyed companies have not started the active tourism season and are uncertain about how the situation will turn out in the coming months. Entrepreneurs are calling for extending loan repayment deadlines, granting additional support to employees, as well as canceling utility payments and rent payments to alleviate the financial burden. All surveyed companies are trying their best to preserve existing jobs, but admit that without state support this would not be possible.
Those suffering the biggest losses are city hotels, catering companies and entertainment providers, the association says. There are more family businesses in rural areas, and more than 60 percent of those surveyed have partially or completely closed down their activities.