Statistics: Domestic tourism grows in June, foreign tourism still scanty

Hotel bed.
Hotel bed. Source: ERR

The number of people staying in hotels, hostels, guest houses and other accommodation businesses in June was around a third higher than the figure for June 2020, state agency Statistics Estonia reports. However, the sector still has a long way to go before pre-pandemic levels are reached, and room occupancy stood at just over thirty percent, while the sector was largely used by the burgeoning domestic tourist demographic.

Accommodation businesses served 216,000 tourists, domestic and foreign, in June, Statistics Estonia reports.

While the rise suggests recovery from the pandemic and during a month when the bulk of the previous government restrictions were lifted, Statistics Estonia analyst Helga Laurmaa said that the coronavirus continues to make its effects known, particularly when looking at the bigger picture in relation to the last full pre-pandemic year of 2019.

She said: "The number of accommodated tourists increased compared to June 2020, but was still almost two times smaller than in 2019."

The majority of tourists were still from inside Estonia, the agency adds – of 384,000 nights spent in accommodation establishments in June, 312,000 of them were taken by domestic tourists, and 72,000 by foreign tourists.

The number of businesses open has also fallen, by 3 percent on year to June 2021, and by 15 percent compared with June 2019, to 1,168 accommodation establishments, the agency says.

22,000 rooms were available comprising 53,000 bed places. Only 31 percent of these were taken up, however.

The average room price was €33 per guest in June, Statistics Estonia says, a rise of €3 on year. Pärnu County at €36 per night, and Harju and Tartu counties, plus Saaremaa, were slightly more expensive than average at €35 per night.

Domestic tourists by county. Source: Statistics Estonia

184,500 domestic tourists (spending 312,000 nights as noted above) were on vacation in their home country in June, a rise of 52 percent on year and 21 percent more than in June 2019.

Conversely, foreign tourists number 31,700, a fall of 24 percent even on June 2020, and 88 percent less than June 2019.

Foreign tourists represented just 15 percent of the guests served by accommodation establishments, compared with 63 percent and 255,000 in June 2019.

Those foreign tourists who did arrive in Estonia were overwhelmingly from the immediately neighboring countries – Finland (around 8,000), Latvia (around 5,000), Lithuania (circa 1,900) and Russia (1,600), while around 1,7000 tourists in June were from Germany.

Harju County (meaning Tallinn) along with Pärnu County – Pärnu city being Estonia's summer capital – and Tartu County, hosted most of these visitors.

Accommodation and foreign tourists. Source: Statistics Estonia

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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