Friday, May 3, 2013
Baltic hotel construction on the rise
Tourism in the three Baltic countries, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia flourishes. During 2012 all three countries welcomed more hotel guests, with a strong increase in visitor numbers from Russia. Influx from MICE (meetings, incentives congresses, events) is nevertheless still considered to have more business potential. In total 13 new top hotels are currently in the project pipeline. Kempinski plans to refurbish the famous Hotel Riga, into a luxury hotel with 232 rooms. This data has been revealed from an international hotel market report issued by TOPHOTELPROJECTS (www.tophotelprojects.com), the worldwide leading provider of global b2b hotel data.
The flagship of Baltic top hospitality: the Kempinski Hotel Cathedral Square was inaugurated in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius in September 2012 (Photo: Kempinski)
Last year eight Lithuanian hotels newly opened or were refurbished. The most prestigious new project has been the Kempinski Hotel Cathedral Square in the capital Vilnius. The luxury hotel with 96 rooms was inaugurated in September 2012. This year a property by Louvre Hotels in the capital as well as two comfort hotels will open their doors in Klapeida.
In the historic district of Latvia's capital Riga two first class hotels are due to open with a total number of 185 rooms. Furthermore the prominent Starwood Hotels group prepares the opening of the Sheraton Riga Hotel (312 rooms) for April next year. In 2014 Riga will be the European Cultural Capital. This major event should attract more international attention. Two further large hotel projects are currently under development: in June a new business hotel (280 rooms) will open at the international airport. In 2015 another business hotel with 200 rooms is due to open in Riga.
Within the forthcoming seven years numerous hotels are planned to arise in Estonia. Nevertheless, specific brand names for those hotel construction projects can currently not be named.
According to a prognosis given by WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council), tourism in the Baltic countries should develop positively. The WTTC analysts expect an average annual increase of 3,3 percent between 2013 and 2023 in Estonia, a rise of 4,9 percent in Lithuania and even a 6,0 percent increase in Latvia.
With 5,5 million overnight stays during 2012 the Estonian tourism sector has counted the highest number of bookings in all the Baltic states. This is accounted by the high number of visitors from Finland. Most of some live in nearby Helsinki, which is only 80 kilometers away from Tallinn. But the largest portion of tourism influx during 2012 has been mainly generated by Russian guests (+31,0%), while the number of arrivals by travelers from Finland, Sweden and Norway declined.
In Latvia the 2012 overnight stays increased by 7,7 percent to 3,5 million overnight stays. Particularly the number of Russian visits (+33,4%) grew, while the bookings made by visitors from the other Northern countries, except for Denmark, were declining.
The Lithuanian hotel sector counted 5,3 million overnight stays in 2012, 6,9 percent more than in 2011. The number of arrivals from Russia even jumped to an extraordinary rise of 44,6%.
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