Tourism in figures and facts in the Valmiera region in 2023

In order to look back on the past year and get an idea of ​​what has been done in the tourism industry in the Valmiera region, the Tourism Board of Valmiera region, at the start of a new year, conducts a data analysis, which will serve as the basis of future decisions and activities in the field of tourism. 

The 2023 tourism data on the tourist attractions of Valmiera region have been compiled –  from Valmiera Tourism Information Center (TIC), Zilākalns cultural history and visitor center (ZKAC) and tourism information point (TIP), the Mazsalaca museum visitations, tourism webpage and social media. 

In 2023, there were no “Covid-19” pandemic restrictions set by the state, therefore the tourism industry as a whole has resumed its progress towards achieving the same indicators as before the pandemic, and this is also reflected in the collected data. In some areas, the same statistical data as before the pandemic have been achieved, or a positive improvement can be observed. At the same time, the demand for receiving tourism information in person has increased, which can be explained by the greater flow of travelers to the destination. 

Looking at the data on in-person visits, a rapid increase in the number of visitors to Valmiera TIC can be observed. During the past year the TIC has been visited by 7489 people. Although positive changes in the number of visitors can be observed in the data already from April 2022, when almost all “Covid-19” restrictions were lifted, in 2023 the increase was significant (+170%). It should be mentioned here that since July 20, 2023, the Valmiera Tourist Information Center has been located in the newly built part of the Valmiera Museum above the castle ruins, where the new exposition “de Woldemer” can be seen. The location of the TIC in a cultural and historical object, while also providing the opportunity to receive tourist information, can be considered as one of the success factors in the increase in the number of visitors. 

Invariably, the majority (88.86%) is made up of guests from Latvia, including residents of Valmiera region, who are also often participants in various active recreation events and travel promotions organized by the Tourism Board of Valmiera region. Similarly, the demand for various types of representative materials and souvenirs is one of the most frequent interests of local residents.

The flow of international tourism continues to recover the position of pre-pandemic indicators. The share of foreign tourists in the number of information requests of Valmiera TIC is 11.14%. However, compared to 2022, it has increased by 113.95%. Foreign guests most often visit Valmiera and Valmiera region in July and August. The number of ZKAC travelers in 2023 was 3,843 (+25.84%). Statistical indicators show that during the season, trips with rail bikes are very popular. It should be mentioned that 65% of visitors wanted to ride a rail bike, but only 15% of these visitors chose to combine the trip with a visit to ZKAC. 10% of visitors chose to visit only ZKAC. The largest share of ZKAC visitors is Latvian residents (86.1%), followed by Estonian travelers (6.8%) and Lithuanian travelers (1.5%). Travelers from countries such as France, Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom, etc. showed a percentage-wise smaller interest.

In the spring of 2023, a tourist information point was opened in Mazsalaca museum, there were 2377 visitors. Most visitors come in groups (58.77%), this is largely due to the fact that the info point is located in the museum premises, while the rest are individual travelers (41.23%). Travelers are mainly from Latvia, followed by Estonia, Germany and other countries. In 2024 the Tourism Board plans continue the development of this type of tourism points, which are located in existing municipal tourism attractions, thus providing travelers with a more practical experience of receiving information.  

Summarizing the visitor statistics of 82 tourist attractions, they were visited 880,745 times in 2023, which is 20% more than the year before. It should be mentioned that these data certainly do not reflect only guests, but also the number of visits, and there is a possibility that one traveler has visited several places, and may have visited the object in question several times during the year. Unfortunately, most tourism operators do not collect data on from which countries and how many visitors there have been. The TOP 5 of visitor nationalities in 2023 was created based on the accurately submitted data and how often a specific country was mentioned in the statistical questionnaire, therefore it can be concluded that in 2023 the most frequent visitors in the tourism service providers in Valmiera region were from Latvia, Estonia , Germany, Lithuania and Finland. In 2023, tourist objects were visited more by guests in groups, however, there are objects for which individual travelers have the same proportion or even slightly more than group travelers.

Since 2022, the calculation of accommodation statistical data is performed automatically – with the help of a statistical module. In 2023, an increase in the number of accommodations can be observed in the Valmiera region. The biggest increase is observed in the number of campsites – it should be mentioned that this section includes not only campsites, but also glamping (glamorous, luxury and often atypical design or concept camping), which are current all over the world and, following the trends, have also been created in the Valmiera region. In 53 Valmiera district tourist accommodation, the total maximum number of beds available in 2023 was 1,990 (+286 beds). In 2023, a total of 41,129 overnight guests visited Valmiera region tourist accommodations, which is 9.65% more than last year, when a total of 37,510 guests visited Valmiera region accommodations. In 2023, 27,986, or 68% of the total number of guests in the region, spent the night in the accommodation facilities of the town of Valmiera, which is 13% more than the year before (in 2022 – 24,753 guests), so it can be concluded that there are still more overnight guest stays in the town of Valmiera during the year than in the county. Analyzing the proportion of foreign overnight guests, the largest share of foreign overnight guests is made up of guests from Estonia (32.89% of all foreign overnight guests), Lithuania (15.2%), Finland (11.55%), Germany (7.15%) and Poland (3.15 %).

Continuing the development in the digital field, providing high-quality and true information about the tourism offer of Valmiera region, already in 2022 the Tourism Board offered the new, much more user-friendly version of the portal, which in 2023 was supplemented with content in Lithuanian. The portal’s 2023 data shows more than 151 thousand new users, which can be evaluated very positively. On average, the user spends less than 2 min (1.74 min) on the page, viewing a little more than one page. The most popular and viewed section was “What to see and do” (+71%). An important factor is the work invested in attracting Estonian travelers, which has even doubled for the “What to see and do” section in this language. The geographical statistical data of page users in 2023 comes up with the TOP 5 users: Latvia (80.6% of the total), Estonia (11.2%), USA (0.84%), Lithuania (0.83%) ), Great Britain (0.78 %).

392 new followers were gained in the social media “Instagram”, reaching an audience of 33388 viewers. Looking at the TOP posts, there’s grounds to conclude that the most content consumers were attracted by was unique natural phenomena and high-quality views of the region. 490 new followers were gained in the social media “Facebook”, reaching an audience of 488450 viewers. The collection of TOP posts reflects the topics of interest to content consumers – contests, landscapes and human experience stories.

In 2023, 63 excursions (+30%) were applied for in Valmiera TIC. The classic offer to get to know the town of Valmiera is a 1.5-hour excursion, adapting the route to the interests of the group and the existing audience of the group, but travelers also use the offer of excursions in the territory of the region. July and September were the most active months in conducting excursions. Excursions for groups are offered in Latvian, English, German and Russian. In the distribution of excursions according to the language applied for, the largest share is made up of excursions in Latvian, from foreign languages ​​- in English. Among travelers from Latvia, visitors from the towns and counties of Vidzeme consistently have the highest scores. Compared to previous years, the number of excursionists from Zemgale increased in 2023, while the number of visitors from Kurzeme and Latgale decreased slightly. Most of the excursions are requested by various groups of work colleagues. Compared to previous years, there is an increase in the demand for excursions in the segment of families, friends, schoolchildren and students, while fairly even interest remains in the segment of various work team events and senior groups.

Information prepared by: Toms Treimanis, Head of Valmiera Region Tourism Board, Mob. phone: +37128644530,

WordPress Appliance - Powered by TurnKey Linux