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ID number:793242
Published: 05.08.2015.
Language: English
Level: College/University
Literature: n/a
References: Used

2.2. Tourism development in Latvia

Historical overview
Latvia has a wide range of tourism resources – the diversity of landscape and cultural and historical heritage, rich biological and geophysical systems which have mainly developed as untouched by civilisation. After restoration of independence of Latvia, in the beginning of the 90-ties, the state and collective farms were closed. In the process of restitution, the former land owners regained their land property, earlier nationalised by the Soviet power. Small farms were seeking for profitable alternatives to farming, fishery and forestry, which traditionally had been the main occupations in areas. Tourism became a “rescue” inhabitants viewed it as the only solution to stay living in the countryside. Initially, as the numbers of tourists were comparatively low tourism entrepreneurs offered free rooms to tourists in their family homes. With growing numbers of visitors, the farmers started to transfer from the traditional farming to tourist business, enlarging rooms, building separate cottages for tourists, opening small hotels and guesthouses, opening and improving camping sites. These activities involved a more intensive use of natural resources, increasing volumes of waste, the use of chemicals, etc., thus increasing environmental impact. Unlike the majority of European countries, Latvia did not have to eliminate the consequences of mass tourism.
According to the Association “Lauku ceļotājs” 2012.years statistics data:
1. 21% tourism entrepreneurs main occupation is agriculture;
2. 21% main business is tourism or other business (other than farming);
3. 21% are pensioners;
4. 37% tourism entrepreneurs are employed in another company.
A (35%) are typical tourism entrepreneurs 40-50 year of age. (58%) of them has a higher education. (11%) tourism entrepreneurs, who are less than 30 years, are only 11% of the total. (30%) of entrepreneurs are aged between 30 and 40 years, while (29%) of entrepreneurs have secondary education. (13%) of entrepreneurs for their education information has not been provided.

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