Estonians second only to Latvians in Lithuania summer visits

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Center city of Vilnius. Source: Priit Luts/ERR

The number of Estonian tourists in Lithuania in July rose 25 percent on year, the Lithuanian tourism agency reports, with August figures up on year, a by-product of the coronavirus pandemic and travel restrictions. Only Latvian tourists visited the southernmost Baltic State more.

Lithuania's accommodation statistics report that 14,606 Estonian tourists visited the country in July. Last year, the figure was 11,619.

In August, 9,894 Estonians visited Lithuania, a more modest increase on year (9,612).

The three Baltic States set up an area of free movement known as the "Baltic Bubble" in mid-May, which lasted until September, when Latvia started imposing entry restrictions on its northern border while its coronavirus rate was significantly lower than Estonia's.

A combination of the Baltic Bubble and general travel restrictions and advice not to travel abroad during the pandemic is likely behind the increased figures in summer.

Since Latvia shares a border with Lithuania and has a slightly higher population than Estonia (1.9 million versus 1.3 million) it is likely to send more tourists there than Estonia whatever the situation.

Conversely, tourists visiting Lithuania from Germany and Poland - the latter sharing a border - fell below Estonia's in absolute terms during summer.

Tourism was hit the most in Lithuania in Apri,l when just over 6,000 foreign tourists spent at least one night in the country. A year earlier, in April, that number exceeded 132,000.

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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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