Saaremaa mayor: Ferry ticket price hike harming tourism

The Tõll, one of TS Laevad's vessels.
The Tõll, one of TS Laevad's vessels. Source: TS Laevad

The planned increase in the ticket price for ferries to Estonia's largest islands, Saaremaa and Hiiumaa, may affect their tourism sectors, mayor of Saaremaa Madis Kallas says.

While the increase in the price of a large commercial ferry trip back and forth could be two euros more than at present, the biggest jump in the price increase would still affect passengers with their own car, ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported Thursday.

"Competition in the tourism sector is definitely to the detriment of Saaremaa. For example, a five-strong party that wants to come to Saaremaa for the weekend will have to pay more than €75 for ferry tickets in the future. "In the same way, prices are currently €36 for two people, but will be more than €50 in the future. These are already big numbers, which will definitely start to influence people's decisions," Madis Kallas said.

In recent months, the registration of Saaremaa as a place of residence has grown significantly, a trend likely to continue, Kallas added (ferry price hikes do not affect island residents - ed.).

Avo Levisto, chief specialist for population operations at Saaremaa's municipality, confirmed that the number of people who have registered their place of residence on Saaremaa has increased dramatically over the last couple of months.

"In the last two months, the number of such registrations or registrations of residence in Saaremaa is unusually high. In December there were 104, in January 107. Usually, in the winter months, the figure is around 50," Levisto said

It is estimated that additional revenue of up to one and a half million euros will be generated from the possible increase in ticket prices for the operation of ferries.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications has planned to increase fares for ferries between the major islands from March 1.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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