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In recent years, the interest of US travellers in Latvia has increased significantly. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, the US ranked 7th in 2023 in terms of the number of visitors hosted in accommodation places, with a total of 56.4 thousand guests, even outpacing travellers from some of Latvia’s nearby tourism markets. 

Recently, the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA) joined the prestigious United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA), which brings together 143 active brands and members that provide tours and travel packages to more than 6 million travellers worldwide each year.

“Compared to 2022, the number of visitors from the US last year increased by almost 45%. We continue to organise an array of events to attract tourists from North America and the USA. Joining the US Association of Tour Operators is good news for the Latvian tourism industry and we hope that it will make a valuable contribution to the growth of the number of tourists in the future. Membership in the association will allow information about Latvia’s current tourism offer to reach an even wider audience around the world,” says Inese Šīrava, Director of the LIAA Tourism Department. 

Membership in the US Tour Operators Association will provide the opportunity to participate in various webinars and networking events, and the LIAA will be included in the 2025 US Tour Operators Association Business Representative List, which will be distributed to over 80,000 travel agents in North America. 

“American tourists are increasingly looking for destinations that don’t have large tourist crowds, and choosing places that are less well-known on the world map. Latvia has attracted the attention of US visitors with its cities, nature, cultural and historical attractions such as castles and manor houses, as well as its seaside recreational offerings. Destinations such as Riga Central Market, Gauja National Park and Ķemeri National Park have attracted wide interest. Americans themselves admit that the opportunity to share their travels to unique and little-known places on social media is a pleasant addition to their travel experience,” says I. Šīrava.

In order to attract US tourists to Latvia, the LIAA Tourism Department continues to implement a variety of other activities, such as media visits. In June of this year, journalist Dale Peterson from the online news platform “Travel Off Path” explored Riga, Gauja National Park (Sigulda, Turaida Castle, Cēsis), Bauska and Rundāle Castles, as well as Jūrmala, enjoying Latvian nature and culture. The platform reaches potential tourists from more than 100 countries, most notably the USA, Canada, Australia, the UK and Germany.

In August, Dennis Lennox, a long-time travel reviewer for the US newspaper “The Christian Post”, will come to Latvia to learn not only about Latvia’s cultural heritage – such as sacral buildings and museums – but also its history. The newspaper has a readership of more than 2 million.

Last year, several campaigns were implemented in the USA in cooperation with opinion leaders and bloggers, and Latvia participated in various events presenting our tourism offer, such as Baltic Connecting 2023 in Tallinn, Estonia, the European Travel Agent Forum in Italy, the Nordic International Cider Awards in Riga and many others. At the European Travel Agent Forum in Italy last November, US tour operators and agents admitted that they see Latvia as an undiscovered destination for US tourists thanks to our country’s culture, nature, history and gastronomy. 

Partnerships with opinion leaders and bloggers, who share their personal experiences of different destinations, are increasingly important in attracting tourists. This allows specific audiences to be addressed that would otherwise not be so widely reached. In 2023, due to successful collaboration with the US opinion leader MarGreencompelling content was produced on the opportunities of digital detox in Latvia. Also visiting Latvia in 2023 was Pauls Zizka, a well-known and highly acclaimed Canadian photographer who has produced high-quality photographs of Latvia.

Tourism Department

tourism [at]