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Blog about doing business internationally.

Travel and tourism were one of Latvia’s fastest-growing industries before the COVID-19 pandemic. The Latvian government’s implementation of the EU Open Skies policy and incentives for airlines to draw more travelers to Riga International Airport helped to sustain this development in previous years (RIX). With more than 7.8 million people passing through in 2019, RIX was establishing itself as a regional hub.

With more visitors coming each year, Latvia is becoming a more popular travel destination worldwide. The Latvian market now features international names like Accor Hotels, Kempinski Hotels, Hilton, and Marriott.

Tourism in the economy

Exports are a key element of its GDP. The Tourism Satellite Account shows tourism brought 4.5% to Latvia’s GVA in 2016. Tourism exports were EUR 1.3m in 2018. This was 5% of all exports and 17% of services. 77,100 jobs (8.5% of all occupations) are in the sector and linked industries. From 2016 to 2018, the number of hotels and other places to stay expanded rapidly. In 2018, there were 831 hotels, up 37% from 607 in 2016. Inns and hostels developed in number. 

More people stayed in hotels and other places to stay in 2018 than in 2017. 70% of them, or 1.9 million, came from abroad. 2018’s top source markets were Lithuania (14.1%), Germany (13.3%), and Russia (12.5 percent). Most international tourists (77%) stayed in the capital, Riga. Strategically, MICE, health, nature, and cultural tourism are most significant in Latvia. 

In 2018, Latvians took 11 million trips and spent EUR 333 million. It was down 8.5% from the previous year.

Policies and programs

Latvia is a developing tourist destination with natural riches and rich culture. Latvia invests in tourism promotion to improve awareness of its appeal. 

Economics Ministry established Tourism Development Guidelines for 2014–20. Latvia’s tourism plan aims to ensure long-term growth by boosting export competitiveness. The government aims to make Latvian tourism enterprises more competitive, enhance global competitiveness, reduce seasonal imbalances, and lengthen the average stay. The Investment and Development Agency of Latvia produced its Tourism Marketing Strategy 2018–23, which addresses forthcoming tourism concerns like boosting Latvia’s reputation, supporting sustainable tourism growth, and making smart investments. Marketing operations aim to promote Latvia as a tourist destination and boost its competitiveness. The advertising targets “dreamers,” “adventurers,” and “open-minded tourists” Latvia’s Investment & Development Agency introduced the “Magnetic Latvia” brand to promote the country.

Opening a tourism business in Latvia

It is essential to embrace a Decision on the foundation from the very beginning. The foundation judgment may be fair to Western European nations with Memorandums of Association.

Second, draft the articles of association. According to Latvian Commercial Law, the Articles of Association are the most crucial document for a company’s internal organization and should be based on the Decision on Foundation and any subsequent entries in the Commercial Register.

Payment of the equity capital is required. It is not necessary to pay the entire equity capital at the time of registration; the remaining amount may be paid within a year. The minimum equity capital is EUR 2850. To pay the stock capital, the founders typically open a temporary bank account. At this point, the banks usually enquire about the business and anticipated account cash flow. Although opening a bank account is typically not a difficulty for foreigners, Baltic Legal has assisted the clients if needed at this point.