Ryanair has announced that it may cut flights to Riga by 30% in 2012. Why is this and what does it mean for the tourism industry?

We all know that The World’s balance books are not exactly in the best of conditions at the moment and it seems as many businesses wish to add extra charges to stay alive, there are others who do not want pay!

So here we are in Latvia 2011 and the tourism industry has just been pumped with countless worth of development. The city has undergone massive improvements, infrastructure, info centers, safe, clean streets, we even have a brand ‘Live Riga’ which some suggest could be changed to ‘Hang on in there Riga’ if things head the way many are predicting. So why is this?

Part of the fear of a massive decline in tourism is the proposed 30% reduction in flights to Riga International Airport brought in by the company we all love, ‘Ryanair’. In fact, without these blue, white and yellow planes, it would be safe to say that Europe’s tourism industry would be quite a lot bleaker.

Riga Airport has decided to add another tax, a security tax for passengers and as you can imagine, the cheap deal airline companies are not best pleased with handing this extra price onto their customers in these times.

Ultimately Riga Airport is the major artery to the heart of Riga’s developing tourism industry. At times like these, open heart surgery is not the best news and there is concern over the potential announcements of further reductions in flights from other airlines. Amongst the industry we know that affordable travel is at the center of future development and hope that Riga Airport and Ryanair can come up with a solution.

After neighbouring Lithuania’s Kaunas became a Ryanair hub airport and Vilnius started receiving cheap airlines, concerns also grow for the greater effect on Latvia’s tourism industry as well. It will not just affect Riga but across the country. Lithuania can offer many of the same landscapes and attractions for out door holidays and recreation that Latvia can offer, so why will people still visit here if there are higher ticket prices and fewer flights? Let us not also forget Estonia, which has a developing airport and a highly advanced tourism industry.

Where will the 30% reduction in flights go? Lithuania? Maybe Estonia? Wherever, we hope that Riga’s charm and beauty will continue to draw people here, no matter what the price of the ticket. Wish us all luck and please, keep visiting. We like showing you our city!