Business Tourists and Weekend Vacations Help Hotels in Riga to Thrive

January, 2018

According to the capital's hotels, last year the number of business tourists traveling to Riga increased by 7% -12%.

At the same time, the Latvian capital remains one of the most attractive tourist cities in Europe due to its relatively low cost of living. Leading hotel brands come to Riga together with businessmen and guests from Western Europe. Kempinski has already opened the doors of its new complex in November 2017, and Hilton is upgrading their recently purchased building and is preparing to enter the market in 2019. While increasing the number of rooms and facilities, the leading Latvian hotel chain Mogotel is building an exclusive hotel with a SPA complex in the Latvian capital.

Tourism continues to be an important sector of the Latvian economy. Its contribution is estimated at $1 billion a year, which is more than 4% of the country's GDP. According to hotels and travel agencies in Riga, an obvious increase in the flow of business tourists was recorded in 2017. The number of people who visited Riga for business purposes increased by 7% -12%. The hoteliers have also reacted to Riga's revival as a tourist center: the multi-brand hotel chain in the city continues to expand.

The demand is supported by the relatively low cost of living in the Latvian capital. According to the rating of the Christmas markets barometer 2017 prepared by the Post Office Travel Money, a weekend stay in Riga with standard accommodation, a flight and the purchase of a strictly defined set of gifts from specific brands, costs less than in Munich, Berlin, Tallinn or Prague.

A holiday in Riga is cheaper when we combine the prices for flights from London and back with the price of accommodation. That's how things are for travellers from the West of Europe. But for tourists from neighbouring countries the trip to Latvia will be even cheaper because they can simply drive. For example, a superior room in Rixwell Hotels in Riga that is 35-40 square meters with a view of the Old Town costs 65 euros. Family rooms in Riga in the private sector can be found at even lower prices.

All things considered, the entry of premium segment hotel chains like Kempinski and Hilton into the Latvian market attracts particular interest. Kempinski has already opened the doors of its new complex in November 2017, and Hilton is upgrading their recently purchased building and is preparing to enter the market in 2019. With the arrival of branded international hotel chains, the top 6 hotels rating in Riga is likely to undergo significant changes.

The largest hotel chain in Latvia, Mogotel that manages hotels under the Wellton and Rixwell brand names, is also growing in this segment. Last year it was expanded with three hotels, which are positioned as five-star hotels. A new 250-room hotel with a SPA complex is being built in Kungu street. This hotel will help to expand Mogotel's hotel chain in Riga.

This means that hoteliers see prospects in the development of various segments. The increase in market competition will lead to the fact that special offers from hotels of different classes in Riga will appear more often.