According to Tallink CEO Janek Stalmeister, new investments make little sense at the moment, as the new government’s policy are neither clear nor do its tax changes allow for much optimism concerning tourist numbers.
Asked by BNS if Tallink was planning to make any more large-scale investments beyond its new ferry, the Megastar, Stalmeister said that there was little point giving the situation the new government was currently creating.
“Looking at what is happening now and keeping in mind the decisions affecting the business environment [...] I wouldn’t dare to make a single investment,” Stalmeister told BNS.
What he sees as problematic are both the new government’s tax policies as well as any steps taken that will influence the number of tourists coming to Estonia. “Inevitably, the beer excise duty as well, if life here becomes more expensive for tourists, I feel compelled to ask why they should be eager to come at all. They’ll come, I don’t doubt that, but the question is rather how much their numbers will grow,” Stalmeister said.
Travel decisions were influenced by a multitude of factors, and a change in one component could upset the whole budget, which in turn might affect travel decisions as well as tourist numbers, he explained.
Asked whether Tallink might consider opening new routes in connection with the impending excise hikes, for example from Riga, Stalmeister said there were no such plans at the moment. “When it comes to Riga, an entertainment cruise product, from either Helsinki or Turku, is a possibility. We’ve run single trips from there earlier as well,” he said.
Asked how the Estonian business environment could be improved, Stalimeister said that what entrepreneurs wanted above all was predictability and stability. “We need to understand where the state is going, what is being done, what is going to happen to be able to make plans. When you embark on a journey, and on it some of your partners decide to change direction, that’s never very welcome information,” he said.
Editor: Editor: Dario Cavegn