Estonian Tourism Industry Banking on Russia for Growth ({{commentsTotal}})

Russian tourists made up 17.4 percent of all visiting guests in Estonia in 2013, which is a 2 percent increase in a year, but the tourism development plan hopes to double or even triple visitation numbers from Russia by 2020.

Estonia is still cheaper than its rivals, Latvia and Finland, for attracting Russian tourists, said Raigo Triik, the head of the Estonian Hotel and Restaurant Association, to ERR radio on Tuesday.

In 2013, roughly 300,000 Russians stayed in hotels in Estonia, the second largest group behind Finns (nearly 900,000), but that is a huge increase compared to the 80,000 visitors from Russia six years ago. Russian tourist numbers showed a 14 percent jump last year, the largest percentage-wise increase of any group.

One of the main tourism attractions in Estonia, the AHHAA science center in Tartu, said it has already felt the effects of the Ukraine crisis in its visitation numbers, but precise data will not be ready before April.