Foreign tourism in Estonia shows significant signs of recovery

Tourists travelling in Estonia
Tourists travelling in Estonia Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

In recent weeks, there are positive signs the Estonian tourism industry is recovering after grinding to a halt during the coronavirus crisis and emergency situation. Ferry, bus and plane passengers all have increased since May.

The Port of Tallinn managed well during the coronavirus crisis, ERR reported on Wednesday, as work went on as normal at Muuga port which is primarily used for port. The cargo quantity has increased a few percentage points, which is more than last year.

However, during the crisis, the number of ferry passengers dropped 80 percent in the second quarter, but is now recovering briskly. 

Valdo Kalm, Chairman of the Board of the Port of Tallinn, said: "The second half of June shows that one part of the flow has recovered. July will probably show speedy recovery. I really hope that the third quarter and clear weather brings more tourists from Finland to spend their time in Tallinn." 

Kalm is hoping the turnover in July between the Tallinn-Helsinki route will be 60 percent. As a result, the Port of Tallinn will still be profitable. Tourists coming from neighboring countries are the ones who bring in this profit. 

Bus company Lux Express has relaunched its buses between Tallinn and Riga, Vilnius and Warsaw.

Janno Ritsberg, the CEO of Lux Express, said: "If we reach 35-40 percent at the end of the summer compared to last year, it would be a good result. The most active passengers in terms of recovery are Latvians who travel to Pärnu and Tallinn. Estonians are in second place as they are traveling to Riga. Lithuanians are the most passive travelers." 

The average number of passengers at Tallinn Airport in June was only eight percent of last year's figures, but last Saturday this had increased. The airport hopes to increase the number of passengers to 30 percent by August. A spokesperson of the airport said the airlines would like to restart the routes as soon as possible. 

Eero Pärgmäe, the sales manager of Tallinn Airport, said: "The main problem is that multiple countries are in a borderline situation. Some passengers have to stay in quarantine, some of them do not. This kind of situation puts passengers travel plans on hold. If the coronavirus infections rate drops in Europe, then people will want to start traveling again." 


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Editor: Katriin Eikin Sein

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