Estonians travel more, but for shorter times

Foreign visitors made 6.2 million visits to Estonia in 2014, which is about 1% more than in 2013. Visitors from the European Union made 71% of these visits and the number of their visits was the same as in the previous year, and 39% of all visits were made by travellers from Finland. The European Union countries from which numbers of visitors increased the most were Germany, from where 17% more visitors came, and Portugal, which was up by 15%, while the number coming from Sweden fell by 12% and the number from Norway by 9%. Visits from Russia accounted for 18% of all visits and their numbers increased by 3% over the year, though there was a drop of 11% in the final quarter of the year.

The number of people visiting in 2014 from Japan was up by 47%, from Korea up by 28% and from China by 61% but despite this substantial growth, only 3% of all tourists came from Asian countries.

Around half of the visits to Estonia were for multiple days, and two thirds of those involved a stay with an accommodation service provider in Estonia. The average length of a multiple-day visit was 4.5 days, which was 8% longer than in 2013.

Estonian residents made 3.9 million trips to foreign countries in 2014, which was 5% more than in 20131. More than three quarters of these visits were to European Union countries, and 4% more such trips were made than a year earlier. One visit in four went to Finland, while there were around half a million visits to Latvia. The number of visits to Latvia increased for the fifth year in a row, while the number of visits by Estonian residents to Portugal was 44% higher than a year before.

More holidays were taken to Croatia, which received 23% more visits, and to Greece, which saw a rise of 31%. Having fallen in the previous year, the number of visits to the United Arab Emirates rebounded by 19% and the number to Thailand did so by 28%. The number of visits to Egypt has been falling for five years, and it fell again in 2014 by a further 11%, while India also received fewer visits, as the number fell for the second consecutive year and stood at one third less than in 2013. Ukraine received half as many visits as a year earlier.

Residents of Estonia made 7% more single day trips than a year earlier, and 30% of all visits were day trips. Multiple day visits by residents of Estonia lasted for an average of 4.6 days, which was slightly shorter than in the previous year.

1 The number of trips abroad and the number of foreign countries visited are not the same, as one trip abroad may include visits to several different countries.


More detailed information can be found on the Eesti Pank website under International travel statistics. The methodology for collecting International travel statistics was designed by researchers at Eesti Pank and the University of Tartu in partnership with OÜ Positium LBS. The mobile positioning data are collected and processed by OÜ Positium LBS, which gets the data from the telephone network operators in an anonymised form so as to protect fully the privacy of the telephone users. Statistical methods for the use, processing and presentation of the data do not permit identification of any individual telephone or user and comply with the law on personal data protection

Source: Bank of Estonia

Author: Tarass Snitsarenko, Eesti Pank Statistics Department

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