Estonia is lucky to have Latvia and Finland as neighbors because the coronavirus infection rates in both countries are low and tourism has been able to pick up again, the head of tourism promotion at Enterprise Estonia has said.
On Vikerraadio's morning show "Vikerhommik" on Friday morning, Liina Maria Lepik said: "We are very lucky to have the neighbors we have, because virus indicators in Finland and Latvia are good and they can travel. We are lucky that our neighbors have also acted responsibly."
Lepik added: "Latvian tourists visiting Southern Estonia were most vigorous in the beginning but now our main market, the Finns, have arrived."
But one change is that, previously, tourists visited for longer periods but not travel has become more impromptu. Lepik also said as soon as restrictions were eased German tourists also started to return.
One of the ways to increase tourism to Estonia is the pristine nature and how the coronavirus was handled.
Lepik said: "We can emphasize Estonia has held the infection under control, measures are in place and we have a sparse population, which helps people to avoid infection."
She added the pandemic did affect the behavior of Estonian tourism companies who have had to reshape their business models. "The cooperation of green tourism businesses started during the crisis. Up to it, destination developments have been fragmented but now there is more cooperation."
The head of tourism promotion at Enterprise Estonia said the pandemic also showed the importance of the entire sector, with 22,000 people employed in the sector bringing in 8 percent of the country's GDP.
Lepik hopes the share of domestic tourism, which is relatively low compared to other EU countries, will also increase. In the Nordic countries, domestic tourists make up 70 percent of the entire tourism sector, while in Estonia the respective number is 37 percent.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste