Foreign nationals made a total of six million visits to Estonia in 2016, representing a four-percent increase over 2015, the Bank of Estonia reported on Thursday.
Foreign visitors bought more than €1.3 billion worth of goods and services in Estonia in 2016, two percent more than in 2015.
The number of daytrips, which accounted for 47 percent of the total number of visits to Estonia, increased by three percent, whereas the number of tourists staying overnight increased by 5 percent. The average duration of a multiple-day visit to Estonia was 4.2 days, the same as in 2015.
A minor increase of one percent was recorded in the number of visits from Finland, which accounted for approximately 40 percent of all visits. The number of visitors from other EU member states increased six percent, while the biggest increases were recorded in the numbers of tourist visits from Ireland, Spain and Belgium — by about one-fifth each.
One in four visits to Estonia was made from outside of the EU. Tourists from Russia accounted for 850,000 visits to Estonia, representing a four-percent increase over the previous year and accounting for 14 percent of all visits. The number of visits from the U.S. was up by 30,000 compared to 2015 figures, while the number of visits from Belarus was down 15 percent and visits from Turkey dropped by one-tenth.
Estonian residents made some 3.5 million trips abroad in 2016, two percent fewer than during the previous year. Estonians spent an estimated €800 million abroad, 6 percent more than in 2015.
Visits to EU member states accounted for 80 percent of all visits made by Estonians to other countries during the year, as much as in 2015. The most significant changes year over year were a drop of 15 percent in the number of trips by Estonian residents to Norway, a drop of 13 percent in trips to Belgium and a drop of 12 percent in trips to France.
The preferences of Estonian residents seeking the sun in southern lands saw changes compared to the previous year in 2016, with 40 percent fewer trips made to Turkey and 17, 18 and 22 percent more trips made to Bulgaria, Croatia and Greece, respectively. The number of trips to Russia remained unchanged at around 275,000.
Both the number of overnight visits abroad by Estonian residents and their average length remained unchanged, with the average trip lasting 3.7 days. Daytrips accounted for 14 percent of the total, a drop of four percent compared to the previous year.
Editor: Editor: Aili Vahtla