SEB data shows Estonians are holidaying closer to home this year ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Riga's Terbatas iela, named after Tartu, will be car-free until mid-August
Riga's Terbatas iela, named after Tartu, will be car-free until mid-August Source: Renars Koris

Card transaction data for July released by SEB Bank shows Estonians are holidaying domestically or in neighboring countries this year instead of venturing further afield.

This year 16 percent of transactions made in July by SEB's private customers were made abroad compared to 22 percent in July 2019. Total transactions for the month were similar for both years but this year 10 percent more were made domestically and a third less made abroad.

Lennart Kitt, head of customer analysis and data science at SEB Baltic, said Estonian spending has increased on leisure time such as entertainment, culture and catering.

He said: "We can really see that a good part of the population has decided to support our country's tourism sector, and although there is still a lack of foreign tourist, local tourists have even partially tried to fill the gap with domestic consumption."

The data also showed changes in transactions made abroad. It shows an increase of spending in almost all neighboring countries but a drop in Russia and Sweden.

"Estonians' spending in Russia has fallen by almost 80 percent this year. Travel was hampered by both the epidemiological situation and strict border controls that restricted movement between the two countries. Expenditure in Sweden also declined," Kitt explained.

In contrast, expenditures in Finland, Latvia and Lithuania have increased significantly.

"In terms of volume, Lithuania has won the most from the more local holidays of Estonians, where the expenses of Estonians have increased by almost 40 percent compared to the previous year," Kitt said.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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