Estonians travelled less in 2016, but spent more money

Foreign visitors made 6 million visits to Estonia in 2016, which is about 4% more than in 2015. Foreign visitors consumed more than 1.3 billion euros of goods and services in Estonia in 2016, which was 2% more than in 2015.

The number of same-day visits increased by 3%1 and made up 47% of the total number of visits, while the number of tourists staying overnight rose by 5%. The average overnight stay lasted 4.2 days, which was the same as in 2015.

There was a slight increase of 1% in the number of visits from Finland, which accounted for around 40% of all visits. The number of visitors from other European Union countries increased by 6%. The biggest growth was of around one fifth in the number of tourist visits from Ireland, Spain and Belgium.

One visit to Estonia in four was made from outside the European Union. Tourists from Russia made 850,000 visits to Estonia, which was 4% more than a year previously and accounted for 14% of all visits. The number of visits from the USA was up 30,000 on 2015, while the number coming from Belarus was down 15% at the same time, and the number from Turkey was down by one tenth.

Estonian residents made some 3.5 million trips to other countries, which was 2% less than in 20152. Visitors from Estonia to foreign countries spent an estimated 800 million euros there, which was 6% more than in the previous year.

Countries in the European Union received 80% of the visits, and that figure was the same as in the previous year. There were notable drops of 15% in the number of trips by Estonian residents to Norway, of 13% in the number of trips to Belgium, and of 12% in the number of trips to France.

The preferences of Estonian residents seeking the sun were not the same as in 2015, as 40% fewer trips were made to Turkey, while 17% more were made to Bulgaria, 18% more to Croatia and 22% more to Greece.

Trips to Russia stayed constant at 275,000.

There was no change in the number of overnight visits by Estonian residents or in their average length, which remained constant at 3.7 days. Same-day visits accounted for 14% of the total, and there were 4% fewer such visits.


1 All comparisons have been drawn on an annual basis if not indicated otherwise.

2 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.

Source: Bank of Estonia

Author: Tarass Snitsarenko, Eesti Pank Statistics Department

Estonia got over 3 million hotel tourists in 2016

According to Statistics Estonia, in 2016, more than 3 million domestic and foreign tourists stayed in accommodation establishments, which is 7% more than in 2015. The number of both foreign and domestic tourists increased.

In 2016, 1.3 million domestic tourists and 2 million foreign tourists used the services of accommodation establishments. Compared to 2015, the number of both foreign and domestic tourists increased 7%. Of the foreign tourists using the services of accommodation establishments 46% arrived from Finland, 10% from Russia and 7% from Latvia. Compared to 2015, the number of tourists arriving from Finland, Russia and Latvia increased by 5%, 8% and 11%, respectively. Also, there was an increase in the number of accommodated tourists from Germany, Sweden and Lithuania. The number of tourists arriving from Asian countries increased throughout the year. 73% of the accommodated foreign tourists came to Estonia for holidays, 21% were on a business trip and the rest had some other reason for visiting Estonia. 62% of the domestic tourists were on a holiday trip and 23% on a business trip.

In December 2016, 255,000 domestic and foreign tourists stayed in accommodation establishments, which is 9% more than in December 2015. 151,000 foreign tourists stayed in accommodation establishments, which was 11% more than in December 2015. More tourists came from neighboring countries as well as from other major partners for Estonian tourism – Germany, Lithuania, the United Kingdom and Asian countries. 41% of the customers of accommodation establishments were domestic tourists. 104,000 domestic tourists stayed in accommodation establishments, which was 8% more than in December 2015.

In December, 908 accommodation establishments offered services for tourists. 19,000 rooms and 43,000 beds were available for tourists. 42% of the rooms and 34% of the beds were occupied. The average cost of a guest night was 37 euros, remaining at the level of December 2016.

Read more from here Statistics Estonia

British Airways to fly to Tallinn starting March 2017

Beginning Mar. 28 next year, British Airways will fly the Tallinn-London route twice a week, Tallinn Airport announced on Nov.1, 2016.

The flights will be on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The Tuesday flight will leave London at 8:00 a.m., and later in the day return to London, leaving Tallinn at 1:55 p.m.

The Saturday flight will leave London at 3:35 p.m., and again fly back from Tallinn to London at 9:35 p.m. Both flights will connect Tallinn to London Heathrow Airport.

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Estonia had 6 pct more hotel visitors in August than a year before

According to Statistics Estonia, in August, domestic and foreign tourists having stayed in Estonian accommodation establishments numbered 417,000, which was 6% more than in August 2015.

In August 2016, 24,000 tourists more used the services of accommodation establishments of Estonia than in the same month of the previous year. The number of foreign and domestic tourists increased by 6% and 5%, respectively, compared to August 2015. Foreign tourists accounted for nearly two-thirds of the total number of tourists. In August 2016, 256,000 foreign tourists used the services of accommodation establishments or 15,000 foreign tourists more than in August 2015. 38% of the foreign tourists came from Finland, 10% from Germany, 8% from Russia and 7% from Latvia. 78% of the accommodated foreign tourists came to Estonia for holidays, 17% were on a business trip and the rest had some other reason for visiting Estonia. Foreign tourists mainly prefer the accommodation establishments of Tallinn (63% of the accommodated foreign tourists), Pärnu city (10%), Tartu city (6%) and Saare county (5%).

In August 2016, domestic tourists having used the services of accommodation establishments numbered 162,000, which were 8,000 domestic tourists more than in August of the previous year. 65% of the domestic tourists were on a holiday trip and 18% on a business trip. 20% of the domestic tourists having used accommodation services stayed in the accommodation establishments of Harju county, 15% in Pärnu county, 9% in Ida-Viru county and 8% in Saare county.

In August 2016, 1,311 accommodation establishments offered services for tourists. 23,000 rooms and 55,000 beds (1,300 beds more than in August 2015) were available for tourists. 56% of the rooms and 47% of the beds were occupied. The average cost of a guest night was 35 euros or two euros more than a year earlier. The average cost of a guest night was 42 euros in Harju county, 36 euros in Pärnu county, 32 euros in Saare county, and 30 euros in Tartu county.

Read more from Statistics Estonia

St. Peter Line to sell cruise ships operating on Baltic Sea

Russian shipping company St. Peter Line, which operates a Tallinn-St. Petersburg route with a fleet of two ships, the Princess Anastasia and the Princess Maria, is to sell the ships to Italian cruise ship operator Moby Lines, reported lemarin.fr.

According to initial information, the new owner is to relocate the Princess Anastasia away from the Baltic Sea, while thePrincess Maria is scheduled to continue operating cruises in the region, Port of Tallinn Chief of Communications Sirle Arro told BNS.

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Estonia has been an attractive tourist destination

Tourism: can the success be sustained?

• Estonia has been an attractive tourist destination
• Growth despite fewer visitors from Russia and Finland
• Challenges and opportunities in 2017

Estonia has been an attractive tourist destination
Estonia has been rather successful in attracting tourists. The number of tourists per person has been higher than in Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, or Sweden, or the European Union (EU) average. Estonia’s net occupancy rates are also above the European average. Local tourism has been more active in Estonia than in other Baltic countries, but more sluggish than in Finland or Sweden or the EU average, where higher living standards enable higher expenditure on leisure and entertainment, and longer distances mean greater need for accommodation services.

Growth despite fewer visitors from Russia and Finland
The number of domestic tourists (40% of clients) has increased substantially in recent years, offsetting smaller flows from Russia and Finland. During the first six months of 2016, the number of tourists from Russia stabilised, while the number of tourists from Finland started to grow again. The sector’s economic indicators also improved: turnover was 17% and profits 10% higher during the first six months of 2016 compared with the same period in 2015.

Challenges and opportunities in 2017
Next year will bring some challenges and opportunities for Estonia’s tourism sector. Estonia will raise the value-added-tax (VAT) on accommodation services, thereby accelerating the convergence of average prices with Western Europe. The recovery of the Finnish and Russian economies, the expected strengthening of the Russian rouble against the euro, and the EU presidency should support tourism flows next year. The number of nights spent by Estonian tourists could grow less quickly in 2017 as the Estonians’ purchasing power is forecast to grow more slowly than in 2016.

Source: Swedbank

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Port of Tallinn to expand terminals

Over the next 15 years, the Port of Tallinn is slated to carry out major reconstruction in the vicinity of the capital’s Old City Harbor, build new entertainment and retail areas near the planned Reidi Road, expand the port’s A and D terminals as well as change the area’s traffic solution.

Port of Tallinn Real Estate Development Manager Ahto Ader told BNS that the company is planning to make the area surrounding the Old City Harbor a more active city space which can be more easily traversed.

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