Tourist mag editor: Estonia must be more actively Finn-friendly ({{commentsTotal}})

Mikko Savikko, Editor in Chief, The Baltic Guide
Mikko Savikko, Editor in Chief, The Baltic Guide Source: Photo: Courtesy of the Baltic Guide

Finns spend 7 million days in Estonia each year and spend 1 billion euros a year. But Estonia takes them for granted, said editor in chief of The Baltic Guide, Mikko Savikko.

"Finns are perhaps the nation that like the Estonians the most. They feel we're almost one people and the language is nearly the same - plus it's easy to come here right now," said Savikko, who is Finnish himself, on ETV.

"And in recent years, [Estonia offers] security, which is the first thing Finns ask about - although Swedes insist even more on it. Life is peaceful here and there's no need for concern, except for pickpockets, which exist in Helsinki, too."

This year Finns have made 2.5 million trips to Estonia, spending 7 million days here.

"That means every day there's an average 19,000 Finns. But the [demographics] have changed. The bigger share of the thousands is young people my age who have bought or rent a flat here and are here for the long term.

Savikko says more emphasis should be placed on knowing Finnish and getting more tourism training.

"Estonia has only one private school that teaches the kind of management that hotels and restaurants need. Finland has schools like that in almost every town. The problem is the foundation is not in order. And on top of it, there's the attitude that Finnish isn't necessary.