New airBaltic routes will help Latvia drive greater European connectivity next summer, with visitors to the Baltic nation set to surge past the two million mark for the first time this year.
Latvia’s national carrier will add new routes to the UK, France, Norway and Armenia in the spring as the country seeks to capitalise on its best-performing markets – and tap into new ones.
Just shy of two million people visited Latvia in 2018, nearly 1.2 million (60%) of whom hailed from its five top markets – Lithuania, Germany, Russia, the UK and Estonia.
However, in Q2 2019, Latvia saw significant increases in arrivals from Spain and Russia, while a 15% decline in arrivals from Norway will be addressed by airBaltic’s new Bergen and Trondheim routes.
The country this year celebrated the centenary of its cultural independence and has vowed to ensure the festivities continue for years to come, which Ieva Gredzena from the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia said would cement the reputation of the country’s arts scene.
Gredzena added with temperatures on the Baltic coast soaring to 30°C and beyond in the summer, Latvia would now seek to promote its beach holiday scene to new markets, as well as its suitability for other outdoor pursuits such as hiking, surfing, kite-surfing and sailing.
The Latvian Country Tourism Association has teamed up with its Estonian counterparts to develop a 745-mile “sustainable” hiking route along the coast aiming to highlight sites of natural and cultural significance, while Gredzena said Latvia’s thick forests and unique boglands were among the country’s growing tourist attractions, allowing visitors to escape the trappings of daily life and get back to nature with accommodation ranging from restored manor houses to “glampsites” and treehouse retreats.
While Latvia’s outdoor adventure offering is focused on its German, Finnish and Russian markets, it will in 2020 extend promotion to Lithuania, Estonia and Sweden, while holding marketing activities in the UK and the Netherlands and engaging bloggers and influencers.