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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Foreigners spend more money in Estonia

Over 1.6 million foreign tourists visited Estonia in the second quarter of 2016, which is 4% more than at the same time a year earlier.Although the amount of tourists from Finland, whose visits make up a third of all visits, decreased by 1% compared to last year, the number of visits made by European Union citizens grew by 2% in a year. The number of visits made from Spain and Portugal, for example, increased by more than a quarter. Russian citizens came to Estonia on 200,000 occasions and that figure stayed the same as last year. The number of visits from Asian countries continued to grow, with 15% more visits taking place in the second quarter of this year than a year ago. Visits from the USA and Norway have also become more frequent, while visits from Turkey and Belarus have decreased in number.

The number of overnight visits grew by 6% in the second quarter compared to the same time last year, and the average length of an overnight visit was four days. 48% of all visits were same-day trips. Foreign tourists spent an estimated 390 million euros in Estonia in the second quarter, which is 5% more than in the second quarter of 2015.

Estonian residents made almost 950,000 trips to foreign countries in the second quarter, which was 1% more than a year earlier1.Estonian residents visited all neighbouring countries slightly more often than in the second quarter of last year, but the number of trips made to Belgium, France and Italy fell by more than 10%.

The holiday destination preferences of Estonian people have changed: the number of trips to Turkey fell by one third, while visits to Greece, Bulgaria and Croatia became significantly more frequent.

The number of overnight visits remained the same, and the average length of one such visit was 3.6 days. Same-day trips accounted for 15% of the total, and they increased in number by 6%.

Estonian tourists spent an estimated 185 million euros abroad in the second quarter.


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.

The movement of travellers has a noticeable effect on the export and import of travel services in the Estonian balance of payments, which will be published on 8 September.

Source: Bank of Estonia

The number of tourists increased in May

According to Statistics Estonia, 280,000 domestic and foreign tourists stayed in accommodation establishments in May 2016, which was 4% more than in May 2015. The number of both domestic and foreign tourists increased.

191,000 foreign tourists and 89,000 domestic tourists used the services of accommodation establishments. Compared to May of the previous year, the number of both domestic and foreign tourists increased by 4%. 59% of the foreign tourists having used the services of accommodation establishments came from neighbouring countries Finland, Latvia and Russia. Compared to May of the previous year, 4% more tourists from Finland stayed in accommodation establishments, while the number of tourists from Latvia and Russia decreased. There was also an increase in the number of tourists arriving from several other European countries – Germany, Sweden, Lithuania, Poland, etc. Among tourists using the services of accommodation establishments, the number of tourists arriving from Asian countries continues to increase. Compared to May 2015, 10% more tourists arrived from Japan and 8% more tourists arrived from China. 30% of the foreign tourists having used accommodation services stayed in accommodation establishments located outside of Tallinn, 30% of them stayed in the accommodation establishments of Pärnu county, 20% in Tartu county and 12% in Ida-Viru county.

32% of the clients of accommodation establishments were domestic tourists, of whom 57% were on a holiday trip and 29% on a business trip. 27% of the domestic tourists having used accommodation services stayed in the accommodation establishments of Harju county, 13% in Pärnu county, 12% in Tartu county and 10% in Ida-Viru county. In most counties, the number of domestic tourists staying in accommodation establishments increased compared to May 2015.

In May, 1,108 accommodation establishments offered services for tourists. 20,000 rooms and 46,000 beds (800 beds more than in May 2015) were available for tourists. 46% of the rooms and 36% of the beds were occupied. The average cost of a guest night was 38 euros or 2 euros more than in May a year earlier. The average cost of a guest night was 44 euros in Harju county, 32 euros in Tartu county, 31 euros in Pärnu county and 30 euros in Ida-Viru county.

Read more from Statistics Estonia

Tourists spent 1.3 bEUR in Estonia in 2015

  • The number of foreign visitors was the same in 2015 as it was in 2014, as 6.2 million trips were made to Estonia and around 1.3 billion euros were spent here
  • Estonian residents made some 4 million trips to other countries, which was 3% more than in 2014, and they spent around 800 million euros abroad

The number of foreign visitors was the same in 2015 as it was in 2014, as 6.2 million trips were made to Estonia. Foreign visitors consumed around 1.3 billion euros of goods and services in Estonia.

The number of visitors from Finland was about the same as in the previous year, as was their share of all visits at 39%. The number of visitors from other European Union countries increased by an average of 6%1. The biggest growth was of 21% in the number of tourist visits from Austria, 17% in the number from Spain, and 15% in those from Germany, while 15% fewer tourists came from Portugal and 17% fewer from the Czech Republic.

One visit to Estonia in four was made from outside the European Union. The biggest fall was the drop of one quarter in the number of visitors from Russia, who made some 836,000 visits to Estonia altogether, accounting for 13% of the total. The number of visitors from the USA increased by 70%, mainly due to same-day visits, of which there were 90,000 more. The number of tourists from Asia has increased for several consecutive years, and their numbers increased by one third in 2015, though they account for only a small part of the total number of tourists.

The number of same-day visits increased by 5% and made up 55% of the total number of visits, while the number of tourists staying overnight was down by 5%. Some 70% of visitors on multi-day visits stayed with accommodation providers in Estonia, and they stayed for an average of 4.8 days, making the average visit 7% longer than in 2014.

Estonian residents made some 4 million trips to other countries, which was 3% more than in 20142. Visitors from Estonia to foreign countries spent an estimated 800 million euros there.

There was not much change from 2014 in the preferred travel destinations for Estonian residents, and the top ten destinations remained the same. Three quarters of those visits were made to the European Union. The number of visits to Finland was down 7%, while 5% more visits were made to the rest of the European Union, and those visits made up more than half of the total. There was a notable increase of 15% in the number of trips by Estonian residents to Austria, of 16% in trips to Croatia, 21% in trips to Italy and 68% in trips to Slovakia.

The growth of the previous year continued in trips to sunny destinations, with 30% more trips to the United Arab Emirates, 14% more to Greece, 22% more to Turkey and 6% more to Thailand. Egypt has been losing popularity as a travel destination for six years, and last year there were one quarter as many trips there as in 2009.

Trips to Russia stayed constant at 380,000 and the number of visits to other countries in the CIS increased by one third.

Single-day visits accounted for a little more than one quarter of the total, and there were 4% fewer such visits. There were 6% more multi-day visits by Estonian residents, but their average length remained constant at 4.6 days.

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.

Visits abroad by Estonian residents

 

Visits to Estonia by non-residents

Visits abroad by Estonian residents in 2015

Visits to Estonia by non-residents in 2015


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. A more detailed description of the methodology can be found on the Eesti Pank website under International travel statistics.

Source: Bank of Estonia

Author: Tarass Snitsarenko, Eesti Pank Statistics Department

Tallink names its new LNG powered ferry Megastar

Tallink`s new LNG powered fast ferry delivered in 2017 will be named Megastar, the company has announced. The name was chosen among 21 550 name proposals submitted to the public name contest.

The keel-laying ceremony of the new vessel will take place at the Meyer Turku Yard in Finland on February 9.

According to the Chairman of the Board of AS Tallink Grupp, Janek Stalmeister the name enables to maintain the unity among the names in the Tallink Shuttle fast ferry family, which includes the Star and the Superstar. “As Megastar will be among the largest of her kind in the world, this name expresses perfectly the characteristics of the ship. It is also easy to pronounce in Estonian, Finnish and other languages. As there were so numerous entries with that name, we also see it as the wish of many of our passengers“, Stalmeister said, explaining that the name was proposed by more than 300 times as part of the naming competition. Altogether there were 14,200 entries from Finland, 5,300 entries from Estonia and 2,050 entries through the international website.

The production of the new LNG powered fast ferry started in Meyer Turku Yard in Finland on August 4.

The price of the ship is 230 million Euros and it is planned to be delivered in the beginning of 2017.

Megastar will be 212 meters long, can accommodate altogether 2,800 passengers and will start operating on Tallinn-Helsinki route.

The new environmentally friendly ship uses LNG as fuel and she will comply with the new and stricter emission regulations for the ECA areas including the Baltic Sea. The ship, with a gross tonnage of 49 000 and service speed of 27 knots, will bring significant improvement in energy efficiency. The highly innovative hull form minimizes the flow resistance and ensures that the ship operates well in ice conditions.

http://news.err.ee/v/economy/210408bd-c365-4895-90e7-8db7698077c0/tallink-names-its-new-lng-powered-ferry-megastar

Source: ERR via Estonian Review

Foreign visitors spent 400 mEUR in Estonia in 3Q

A record number of visitors from abroad came to Estonia in the third quarter, with 2.1 million visits, which is 4% more than in the third quarter of last year. There were one third more visitors from Asian countries and they accounted for 6% of all visitors, their largest share ever registered. There were slightly fewer visitors from Finland than a year earlier and they accounted for one third of the total, which is the smallest share in recent years. The number of Russian residents visiting Estonia also continued to decline, and there were 14% fewer such visits in the third quarter of this year than in the same quarter of last year. At the same time there were increased numbers of visitors from Germany, Spain, Latvia and the USA.

In all, 43% of the visitors to Estonia stayed for more than one day, and their average stay was five days. It is estimated that multi-day visitors spent a total of 250 million euros, and single-day visitors spent 150 million euros.

Estonian residents made 1.1 million visits to foreign countries in the quarter, which was 1% more than a year earlier1. Three quarters of those visits were made to the European Union. People from Estonia travelled more to holiday destinations like Greece, Turkey, Italy and Croatia, but the numbers going to Portugal fell by 38%, to Hungary by 25%, and to Finland by 11%. There were 3% more multi-day visits, but their average length remained constant at 4.6 days. Single-day visits accounted for 27% of the total, and there were 2% fewer such visits than in the third quarter of last year. Visitors from Estonia to foreign countries spent an estimated 185 million euros.

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

The movement of travellers has a noticeable effect on the export and import of travel services in the Estonian balance of payments, which will be published on 9 December.

Source: Bank of Estonia / EESTI PANK