Statistics Estonia Conducting Exit Polls of Tourists ({{commentsTotal}})

Cruise tourists in Tallinn's Old Town Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

Tourists leaving the country and visiting key sights may well encounter curious and friendly statisticians with clipboards in the next six weeks.

For the first time in five years, Statistics Estonia is launching a face-to-face survey of tourists at a number of locations today through mid-September to gauge how much visitors are spending, what brought them to Estonia and whether they were satisfied.

It's the second time the agency has polled tourists.

"There is tight competition in the tourist sector among different countries and thus the state and businesses have to target their activities as precisely as possible," said Tarmo Mutso, director of the Estonian Tourist Board. "In planning activities, it's important to determine tourist satisfaction and needs."

The findings will be an important data source for the central bank as well in calculating tourism revenue. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and local governments will also benefit, getting more information to use in their budgeting process.

The survey takers will be assigned to the passenger port, airport, bus station in Tallinn, train stations, border checkpoints in Narva, Koidula, Luhamaa and Ikla, Tartu bus station and Ahhaa science centre, Valga and Riga bus stations.

About 10,000 foreign tourists will be surveyed. Findings will be published next spring.

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