EVALUATION OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF TOURIST ACCOMMODATION IN THE REGIONS OF LATVIA
Keywords:tourism, tourist accommodation, development
Research hypothesis: The number of tourist accommodation in the regions of Latvia has gradually increased over the research period but their distribution is uneven. The research aim is to evaluate the changes in the placement of tourist accommodation in the statistical regions of Latvia. Research novelty is scientifically evaluated development of tourist accommodation in the regions of Latvia.From 2005-2007 the number of tourist accommodation in the regions of Latvia has fluctuated, but since 2007 it has been constantly increasing in all the regions. The fastest chain increase rates can be observed in the regions with a small concentration of tourist accommodation – in Zemgale and Latgale. Findings of the authors’ research allow concluding that the placement of tourist accommodation in the regions of Latvia is uneven: 50% of all the tourist accommodation is located in Riga and Pieriga regions, but about one fifth of them – in Kurzeme region. Zemgale and Latgale regions have little tourist accommodation. Riga and Pieriga regions also hold the largest number of beds – more than 65% of the total number of beds in Latvia, thus the number of beds in the other regions is small. On average it does not exceed 50 beds per region. From 2005-2008 the number of serviced tourists has gradually increased in the entire Latvia, as well as in Riga, Pieriga, Kurzeme and Latgale regions, but it has reduced in Vidzeme and Zemgale regions in certain periods. The fastest chain increase rate can be observed in Latgale and Kurzeme regions, but fastest decrease – in Zemgale region. In the research period, more than half of the total number of clients in tourist accommodation was concentrated in Riga region, but more than 10% - in Pieriga and Kurzeme regions. The number of clients in other regions does not exceed 6% of the total number. 70% of the clients in tourist accommodation are local tourists (from Latvia). The values of Defert’s function prove that among the researched regions of Latvia, tourism has a significant role in the regional economics of Riga and Pieriga regions. In Latgale and Zemgale regions the role of tourism in regional economics is small, but it is gradually increasing. Results of the cluster analysis indicated that the capital of Latvia, i.e. Riga region, present the most beneficial conditions for the tourist accommodation sector. It is followed by Pieriga region and Kurzeme. Vidzeme, Latgale and Zemgale regions lag behind the other regions significantly, regarding the development of tourist accommodation.