Saaremaa more popular than ever among Baltic tourists
Restriction-free travel in the Baltics has significantly increased domestic tourism, as exemplified by passenger capacity on Saaremaa ferries. In addition to Estonians however, the island is also popular among Latvians and Lithuanians.
ETV's daily affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported on Tuesday that more than 107,000 vehicles crossed Suur Strait between mainland Estonia and Muhumaa island in July.
Sirle Arro, marketing and communications director of Port of Tallinn, said: "The numbers are increasing with every weekend and are approaching last year's. Estonians play a huge part. And there have been a lot of Latvians and Lithuanians, which we have not noticed over the last few years. Finns have started to arrive and truly, the amount of travelers is increasing."
Alver Sagur, a tourism entrepreneur, confirmed that domestic tourism is a working formula this year and there are tourists from neighboring countries on the move.
He said: "This corona is a tough subject for us, but I would say that it brought Estonians to Saaremaa and made Estonians travel domestically. Everyone can now see how beautiful the country actually is."
Hosts of accomodation establishments on Saaremaa are also not panicking currently and special offers have not been necessary to attract tourists.
Liisi Kuusk, sales manager of GOSPA, explained: "We have had 100 percent capacity on many days. Summer is comparable to years before, there is not much of a difference. Maybe the main one is that when people tended to plan their vacations a month or two in advance, then now they are more spontaneous and plan for maybe a week or two."
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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste