Hotels receive boost from domestic tourists over new year

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A hotel in Tartu's old town. Source: Google Street View

Hotels outside of Harju County received a boost from domestic tourists over the new year as people sought to celebrate the turn of the year in areas with fewer restrictions.

Chairman of the Estonian Hotel and Restaurant Association Ain Käpp said on New Year's Eve occupancy rate in Tallinn's hotels was approximately 20 percent - 80 percent less than a year ago.

"Fortunately, a little relief came from the people of Harju County going to other cities such as Tartu, Pärnu, South Estonia and the islands. Speaking with different hoteliers, I think that this New Year's Eve an 80 percent occupancy rate can be a realistic number," Käpp said.

Verni Loodmaa, chairman of the board of Tartu hotels London, Pallas and Sophia, said that on New Year's Eve they had more guests than expected but it was not as high as the 95-100 occupancy of previous years. There were no foreign tourists.

Domestic tourists from areas with a higher rate of coronavirus, such as Harju County or Ida-Viru County, can contribute to its spread, but hoteliers said they have made sufficient precautions to avoid this. 

Käpp said the brief period of respite was essential for the sector but added he hoped there would be no bad consequences.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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