More tourists in May 2014

According to Statistics Estonia, 274,000 tourists stayed in accommodation establishments in May. There were 2% more foreign tourists and 9% more domestic tourists than in the same month of the previous year.

In May, 194,000 foreign tourists stayed in accommodation establishments. 64% of the foreign tourists arrived from the neighbouring countries Finland, Russia and Latvia. 14% more tourists from Latvia stayed in accommodation establishments than in May of the previous year.
The number of tourists from Finland remained at the previous year’s level, but the number of Russian tourists fell for the third month in succession compared to the corresponding month of the previous year. Compared to May 2013, there was an increase in the number of tourists from several European countries – Germany (13% more), the United Kingdom (9% more), Lithuania (3% more). However, the number of accommodated tourists from Sweden, Norway and Denmark was smaller than in May last year. The number of tourists arriving from Asian countries continues to increase. Compared to May 2013, twice more tourists from Japan stayed in accommodation establishments, and the number of tourists from China and South Korea increased 40% and 23%, respectively. 70% of the foreign tourists who used the services of accommodation establishments stayed in the accommodation establishments of Tallinn. The second most popular destination was Pärnu city, accounting for 8% of all accommodated foreign tourists, followed by Tartu city, which accounted for 6% of the accommodated foreign tourists. 72% of the foreign tourists were on a holiday trip and a fifth were on a business trip.

In May, 80,000 domestic tourists stayed in accommodation establishments, which was over 6,000 domestic tourists more than in May of the previous year. 28% of the domestic tourists using the services of accommodation establishments stayed in Harju county, 13% in Pärnu county, 12% in Tartu county and 9% in Ida-Viru county. 57% of the domestic tourists were on a holiday trip and 30% were on a business trip.

In May, 1,071 accommodation establishments offered services for tourists. 20,000 rooms and 46,000 beds were available for tourists. 52 accommodation establishments with 335 rooms and 1,295 beds were added compared to May of the previous year. The room occupancy rate was 46% and the bed occupancy rate was 36%. The average cost of a guest night was 36 euros, being two euros more expensive than in May 2013.

Read more from Statistics Estonia

Tallinn Lisbon air connection opened

The first regular flight from Lisbon to Tallinn landed today, connecting Estonia to Portugal, with many South American and African destinations possible from there.

The flights, operated by Portuguese airline TAP, will take place three times each week and the route will be the longest regular route from Tallinn. The flights will last five hours and travel 3,314 kilometers.

TAP flies to 76 destinations in 34 countries and has a 71-strong fleet. It is expected to use Airbus A319, A320 and A321 aircraft for the Tallinn flight.

Source: ERR News

Viking Line to add two trips on Helsinki-Tallinn route

The Finnish passenger ferry operator Viking Line will increase the number of trips between Tallinn and Helsinki by two starting from Thursday.

The new timetable will be in effect until the end of August.

Tallinn- Helsinki route is also operated by Tallink, Eckeroline and Lindaline ferries and catamaranes.

Read more from Viking Line website

 

Ambassador attracts Spanish unemployed youth to Estonia

For two years already, the Ambassador of Spain in Estonia, Alvaro de la Riva Guzman de Frutos, has been negotiating with enterprises, Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs and the job mediation network EURES aimed at attracting unemployed young Spaniards to come to Estonia for work.

Postimees writes that while at first the ambassador was negotiating with representatives of tourism and IT sectors, both of which require English language skills, the focus is now only on the IT sector, mainly because wages in Estonian hotel and restaurant business are too low to compete, for instance, with Norway.

Read more from BBN

Russian helicopters offering private air tourism

A group of five Russian private helicopters toured Estonia over the weekend as the small private aircraft season begins.

The group, consisting of two Robinson R66 and three Robinson R44 helicopters begin from Moscow, traveled to Pihkva, then onto Riga, Kuressaare and Tallinn over the weekend, Meie Maa reported today.

Read more from ERR

New conference centre may become part of Tallinn Airport

The new multifunctional conference centre that the state wants to complete by 2018 when Estonia holds EU Presidency could be located in Ülemiste City and be made part of Tallinn Airport which is close by, writes Eesti Päevaleht.

Read more from BBN

Hotels against proposal to increase VAT

Estonian tourism sector does not support a proposal made in the course of coalition negotiations to raise the value added tax (VAT) applicable to accommodation services from 9 percent to the universal VAT rate of 20 percent applied in Estonia.

Of the 28 member states of the European Union only four do not apply a lower VAT rate to accommodation services. Their number will decrease further in 2015 because Lithuania has decided to impose lower VAT rate on accommodation services.

Feliks Mägus, board member of Nordic Hotel Forum, said changing the VAT rate would have a negative effect on the whole tourism sector.

Read more from BBN

Frankfurt is the most popular destination from Tallinn Airport

Frankfurt, Germany, was the most popular city for travellers flying out of Tallinn Airport last year, narrowly beating Helsinki.

Both cities received around 12 percent of Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport’s passengers, uudised.err.ee reported on Wednesday. Riga (11 percent), Oslo, London, Moscow and Copenhagen (all 7 percent) followed.

The total passenger number decreased by 11 percent to slightly less than two million, mostly due to Estonian Air’s downsizing of its operations.

Estonian Air was the most popular carrier, catering to 28 percent of all passengers, followed by Ryanair (15 percent), Lufthansa, Finnair and airBaltic (10 percent each).

Nearly half of all passengers were traveling on business, with 30 percent going to or arriving from a holiday. Fifteen percent were visiting friends or relatives.

Two-thirds of travellers were Estonians, with Sweden and Russia (both 5 percent) and the UK and Germany (both 4 percent) the next highest nationalities.

Source: ERR / Estonian Review

Estonians travelled more widely in 2013

In 2013 there were a total of 6 million visits to Estonia by foreigners, while Estonian residents visited foreign countries a total of 3.7 million times. The number of foreign visitors was 13% higher than a year earlier, while the number of journeys by Estonian residents fell by 4%*. Preliminary flash estimates show that non-residents consumed over one billion euros of goods and services in Estonia, while Estonians travelling abroad spent less than 700 million euros there.

The largest growth in inbound travel was of 35% in the number of visitors from Russia, who made more than one million visits to Estonia altogether and accounted for 18% of the total. Russian tourists also came to Estonia in the off-season in the first and fourth quarters, when accommodation providers have fewer clients. The number of visitors to Estonia from Finland* increased by 15% and the number from Latvia by 12%, but the numbers of visitors from most European Union countries, such as the United Kingdom, Italy or Spain, fell.

Altogether 48% of all the visitors took overnight accommodation in Estonia and the average length of a multi-day stay was 4 days.

Estonian residents made 3.8 million visits to foreign countries, though as one trip might include visits to several countries the actual number of separate trips made is significantly smaller. The travel choices of Estonian residents were noticeably different to those of 2012. There was a fall of 9% in the number of trips to Finland and of 8% in trips to Sweden, if Estonians having residency in those countries are excluded, while the number of trips to Russia was down by 15%. At the same time, there was a rise of 4% in the number of trips to Latvia and of 5% in those to other EU countries including Croatia, which was a member of the EU in the second half of the year. There was also a change in the countries preferred by Estonians for holidays, with Spain entering the top ten in ninth place and Poland in seventh, and major increases in the number of trips to Greece, Bulgaria and Hungary. Some previously popular holiday destinations have lost their attractiveness and the number of trips to Egypt has fallen steadily since 2009 and by two thirds in total. The number of trips to Turkey and Thailand increased until 2011, after which it started to fall.

The average trip by Estonians lasted 4 days, which was 9% more than in 2012.

Eesti Pank uses the statistics on foreign travel gained from mobile positioning data in calculating the exports and imports of travel services for the Balance of Payments items. In comparisons with previous years, statistics on the EU cover the countries that were members of the EU at that time. Final figures for purchases and sales of travel services will be published with the Balance of Payments on 11 March.

* The method used for the Balance of Payments considers Estonians who live and work abroad long-term as foreign visitors. They are shown in the international travel statistics as non-residents.

Read more from  Bank of Estonia website

Estonians travelled more widely in 2013

In 2013 there were a total of 6 million visits to Estonia by foreigners, while Estonian residents visited foreign countries a total of 3.7 million times. The number of foreign visitors was 13% higher than a year earlier, while the number of journeys by Estonian residents fell by 4%*. Preliminary flash estimates show that non-residents consumed over one billion euros of goods and services in Estonia, while Estonians travelling abroad spent less than 700 million euros there.

The largest growth in inbound travel was of 35% in the number of visitors from Russia, who made more than one million visits to Estonia altogether and accounted for 18% of the total. Russian tourists also came to Estonia in the off-season in the first and fourth quarters, when accommodation providers have fewer clients. The number of visitors to Estonia from Finland* increased by 15% and the number from Latvia by 12%, but the numbers of visitors from most European Union countries, such as the United Kingdom, Italy or Spain, fell.

Altogether 48% of all the visitors took overnight accommodation in Estonia and the average length of a multi-day stay was 4 days.

Estonian residents made 3.8 million visits to foreign countries, though as one trip might include visits to several countries the actual number of separate trips made is significantly smaller. The travel choices of Estonian residents were noticeably different to those of 2012. There was a fall of 9% in the number of trips to Finland and of 8% in trips to Sweden, if Estonians having residency in those countries are excluded, while the number of trips to Russia was down by 15%. At the same time, there was a rise of 4% in the number of trips to Latvia and of 5% in those to other EU countries including Croatia, which was a member of the EU in the second half of the year. There was also a change in the countries preferred by Estonians for holidays, with Spain entering the top ten in ninth place and Poland in seventh, and major increases in the number of trips to Greece, Bulgaria and Hungary. Some previously popular holiday destinations have lost their attractiveness and the number of trips to Egypt has fallen steadily since 2009 and by two thirds in total. The number of trips to Turkey and Thailand increased until 2011, after which it started to fall.

The average trip by Estonians lasted 4 days, which was 9% more than in 2012.

Eesti Pank uses the statistics on foreign travel gained from mobile positioning data in calculating the exports and imports of travel services for the Balance of Payments items. In comparisons with previous years, statistics on the EU cover the countries that were members of the EU at that time. Final figures for purchases and sales of travel services will be published with the Balance of Payments on 11 March.

* The method used for the Balance of Payments considers Estonians who live and work abroad long-term as foreign visitors. They are shown in the international travel statistics as non-residents.

Source: Bank of Estonia

Author: Andres Kerge, Economist in the Statistics Department at Eesti Pank

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