Finnish president awarded innovative companies

At an international Quality Day gala Thursday evening attended by Finnish President Tarja Halonen, the Estonian Tervisliku Piima Biotehnoloogiate Arenduskeskus OU (Healthy Milk Biotechnologies Development Centre, TPBA) and Feanor OÜ won Quality Innovation prizes, while AS Vähiuuringute Tehnoloogia Arenduskeskus (Cancer Studies Technology Development Cetner, VUTAK) earned special recognition.
A press spokesman reported Estonian Economic Affairs and Communications Minister Juhan Parts as saying that the companies’ achievement was praiseworthy in several senses. “First, it provides proof that co-operation between enterprises and science bears fruit. At the same time you are an example for others because you achieved recognition in an international competition and international status of Estonian enterprise must become a daily affair,” he said.
TPBA won the prize for a novel clinically tested TENSIA microbe stem that brings down blood pressure and Feanor for milling cutters that can achieve a considerable economy of time and resources, the ministry said. VUTAK earned special recognition for its oncogenetic testing and advisory service aimed at early assessing and/or diagnosis of cancer risk.
“If the president of the Republic of Finland hands over such high awards to two Estonian biotechnology development centres it is of very high importance,” VUTAK CEO Riin Ehin said, adding that for recipients of the prizes this could mean a significant breakthrough to the Nordic countries’ market. “It is clear that the programme of technology development centres has been successful in Estonia.”
The quality innovation prizes are issued by Estonian and Finnish quality associations. The prizes have been given out in Finland since 2007. This year it was possible for Estonian organisations to apply for it on an equal basis with Finnish companies.

Source: Estonian Review

Number of tourists in upward trend

According to Statistics Estonia, during the nine months of this year, 1.9 million foreign and domestic tourists stayed in the accommodation establishments of Estonia, which was 11% more than at the same time of 2009. 13% more foreign tourists and 8% more domestic tourists stayed in accommodation establishments.

From January to September 2010, 1.2 million foreign tourists stayed in accommodation establishments. This exceeds the same period results of 2008, the best year for accommodation establishments of the past decade, by 7%. Foreign tourists continue to account for two thirds of the total number of tourists and they use services of the accommodation establishments of Tallinn most of all. 53% of foreign tourists arrived from Finland, 100,000 from Russia and 75,000 from Germany. From all major tourism partner countries there arrived more tourists than during nine months of the previous year.

From January to September, more than 600,000 domestic tourists stayed in accommodation establishments, which is 8% more than in same period of the previous year but less than in the same period of 2007 and 2008. 22% of domestic tourists stayed in the accommodation establishments of Harju county, 13% in Pärnu county and 11% in Tartu county.

In September, 880 accommodation establishments with 18,000 rooms and 40,000 beds were available for tourists. The room occupancy rate was 40%, which is 6 percentage points higher than in September of the previous year. 128,000 foreign and 57,000 domestic tourists stayed in accommodation establishments which makes 19% more of both than in September 2009.

In September, the average cost of a guest night in an accommodation establishment was 446 kroons (29 euros), which was 3% less than in September of the previous year. The average cost of a guest night was the highest in Tallinn (538 kroons or 34 euros). In Pärnu the average cost of a guest night was 365 kroons (23 euros) being 6% cheaper than in September 2009.

Accommodation by regions, September 2010
Accommodation Total North
N-E Est Central
Accom. establishments 880 164 51 85 290 290
Rooms 18 061 7 861 1 051 1 047 4 640 3 462
Beds 40 019 16 119 2 181 2 641 10 738 8 340
Room occupancy rate, % 40 52 32 22 36 28
Bed occupancy rate, % 30 40 27 17 28 19
Tourists accommodated 184 647 111 496 8 168 7 355 31 139 26 489
Nights spent 362 839 194 531 17 973 13 662 89 720 46 953
residents of Estonia 103 593 26 431 10 808 9 798 25 522 31 034
foreign visitors 259 246 168 100 7 165 3 864 64 198 15 919
Av cost of guest night, eek 446 526 394 351 349 352
Av cost of guest night, eur 29 34 25 22 22 22

Source: Statistics Estonia