Russian Tourist Numbers Decrease in Northeastern Estonia ({{commentsTotal}})

Kiviõli semi-coke hill
Kiviõli semi-coke hill Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

For the first time in five years, fewer Russian tourists are staying overnight in Estonia's northeasternmost county.

The number of Russian tourists in Ida-Viru County in July, the peak month, had increased each year, from almost 8,000 in 2010 to more than 13,000 in 2013. But this year the sector only had 12,008 overnight stays by Russians, according to Statistics Estonia.

The same trend holds for all months so far this year. The overall drop for Russians in the first six months of 2014 has been 3 percent compared to the same period in 2013.

The number of Finns dropped in July, too, but most months have seen an increase in Finns over previous years. Overnight stays by Latvians have increased compared to 2013 in all months.

Olga Tšerjomuškina, a Narva tourism coordinator, said the main reason was the rouble's exchange rate. The tourism sector in Russia has also seen a wave of bankruptcies, and there have been campaigns calling on Russians to holiday at home.