Estonia's largest island Saaremaa is ready for the current tourism season, expecting to attract more visitors than year's 350,000.
The island, which has previously been flagged in reports for a lack of infrastructure necessary to serve cruise ship tourists, has gained several new restaurants, hotels and recreational opportunities. And specialists from the tourism sector have been graduating from the Kuressaare Regional Training Center in each of the past 15 years, increasing on-the-ground expertise, ETV reported on Sunday.
According to Karmen Paju from Kuressaare's tourist information center, the tourists have already arrived and while the zenith of the season may see large numbers of Finns arriving, they are not dominating the ranks of foreign guests now. Italians, Germans, French and even Australians have found their way to the picturesque island.
Some gaps have been filled this year that kept Kuressaare from capitalizing on its plum seaside location – from now on, tourists can take day cruises fro the marina, and a two-kilometer stretch of the Mändjala beach will also be cleared up.
The estimated number of tourists is on the rise, even though the majority is still made up by domestic tourists.