Tourists return on low prices

  • 2010-12-16
  • From wire reports

SMALL CHANGE: Latvia and Estonia rank high on the list of low cost tourist destinations.

RIGA - A total of 362,651 foreign guests stayed in Latvian hotels and other accommodations in the third quarter of this year, representing a 26 percent increase when compared to the third quarter of last year, Riga Tourism Development Bureau representative Guna Caune said, reports As Caune explained, 70 percent, or 253,892 of these foreign guests stayed in Riga during this period, a number 24 percent higher compared to the same period last year.
In the third quarter of the year, 14 percent of the foreign tourists were from Germany, 13 percent from Russia, 11 percent from Lithuania, nine percent from Finland and eight percent from Sweden.

The tourists appeared to be taking advantage of the low prices at hotels. Latvia was included in a study of Europe’s cheapest hostels done by the Living in a Hostel; the country placed fourth in terms of overnight costs, just behind Poland, Turkey and Germany.

“Latvia is no surprise to be found at number four on the list of cheap hostels in Europe. In the capital city of Riga, I managed to find hostels for as little as four British pounds per night,” the rating describes Latvia.
The reviewers emphasized that traveling in Europe can be “really cost-friendly” depending on the chosen destination, with some countries providing bargain lodgings for the night.

Latvia’s neighbor, Estonia, ranks seventh on the list. A compiler of the review noted that a large imbalance in dorm pricing was observed in Estonia’s cities, with low-cost overnight stays in Tallinn averaging 5.54 British pounds per night.
“In Tallinn, Estonia’s capital city, prices were consistently as low as 5.54 pounds per night. If you strayed outside of the capital city, prices could go as high as 5.54 pounds per night for a bed in a dorm room, due in most part to the fact that most other destinations within the country only had one hostel or none at all, so in the other cities with a less competitive market you would end up paying much more. If you base yourself in Tallinn, however, you could easily stay in a hostel for the aforementioned price, and have options to choose from,” writes Living in a Hostel.

Other countries on the list (in descending order) are: Poland, Turkey, Germany, Hungary, Serbia, Czech Republic, Russia, Bulgaria. All prices included in the survey were based on the off-peak season, as this is the cheapest time to travel in Europe.

October numbers, according to Statistics Estonia, show 191,000 tourists stayed in accommodation establishments, or 17,000 more than in the same month of the previous year.
The number of foreign tourists increased by one tenth compared to October of the previous year, which was the biggest growth for October during recent years. The number of accommodated tourists from Estonia’s neighboring countries Russia, Finland and Latvia, as well as from Germany and Lithuania, increased compared to October of the previous year. The number of tourists from Sweden and Norway decreased. In total, 123,000 foreign tourists used the services of accommodation establishments. Foreign tourists continue to account for about two thirds of the total number of tourists who used accommodation services.

As in the previous months of the year, in October compared to the same month of the previous year, the number of domestic tourists using the services of accommodation establishments increased. 68,000 of Estonian residents stayed in accommodation establishments, or 6,000 tourists more than in October of the previous year, but 3 percent less than in October 2008. Compared to October of the previous year, the number of domestic tourists on holiday trips as well as on business trips increased.

In October, 788 accommodation establishments with 17,000 rooms and 38,000 beds were available for tourists. The room occupancy rate was 40 percent, which is 3 percentage points more than in October of the previous year. Compared to the summer tourism high season the number of rooms available for tourists decreased 15 percent and the number of beds decreased 19 percent.

In October, the average cost of a guest night in an accommodation establishment was 414 kroons (26 euros), which was 2 percent less than in October of the previous year. The average cost of a guest night in Tallinn was 482 kroons, in Tartu 408 kroons and in Parnu 343 kroons.