Tourist numbers in Estonia fell by 88 percent on year to May 2020, as the effects of the coronavirus pandemic reached their peak, government agency Statistics Estonia reports. Foreign tourist figures were just 3 percent of those of May 2019.
Helga Laurmaa, analyst at Statistics Estonia, said the sector was particularly hit by a drop in foreign tourist figures, as borders closed in March to May in response to the pandemic.
"A total of 5,000 foreign tourists used the services of Estonian accommodation establishments, that is, only 3 percent of the total number of foreign tourists in May 2019," she said.
Domestic tourists accounted for 86 percent of tourists, staying 66,000 nights.
Breakdown of tourism figures
- 37,000 tourists, both foreign and domestic, stayed in Estonian accommodation establishments in May 2020, spending a total of 83,000 nights.
- 58 percent of the domestic tourists were on holiday and 34 percent on a business trip.
- Harju County (close to 25 percent of total), Tartu and Pärnu counties saw largest number of domestic tourism stays.
- 954 accommodation establishments were available for tourists, costing on average €26 per night – significantly cheaper than in 2019.
- Such foreign tourism as there was came from Latvia (1,900 people), Finland (1,000), Russia (200) and Ukraine (200).
- Over half foreign tourists were on vacation, 44 percent of foreign tourists were on business, and the rest had "some other reason", Statistics Estonia reports.
- Foreign tourists spent in Estonia 17,000 nights, 96 percent down on May 2019. Harju, Pärnu, Tartu and Ida-Viru counties were most popular, accounting for around two thirds of total stays.
Editor: Andrew Whyte