Tourism rose by 64 percent on year to January 2022, state agency Statistics Estonia reports. Tourist numbers rose both for foreign tourists, exiting the Covid pandemic, and domestic travelers, with Latvia providing more visitors than any other country.
Over 158,000 tourists stayed in hotels, hostels, guest houses and other accommodation establishments in January this year, the agency reports.
While the number of foreign tourists rose more than four-fold, by 412 percent, compared with January 2021, this was the result of recovery from the pandemic period, when there was virtually no foreign tourism, and remains a half of the pre-pandemic figure.
Helga Laurmaa, Statistics Estonia analyst, said that: "The number of accommodated foreign tourists was comparable to January eighteen years ago."
"The number of domestic tourists grew by 22 percent year-on-year, and was also 10 percent higher than in January 2019," he added.
Over 53,000 foreign tourists and more than 104,000 domestic tourists were accommodated in Estonia in January, Laurmaa added.
Compared with January 2021, there was an increase in the number of tourists from European countries, as well as from countries outside of Europe.
One of the reasons for the big change was the very low reference base noted above.
The largest proportion of tourists came from Estonia's neighbor to the south, Latvia, with 11,000 visitors, while the other significant countries of origin were nearby states also.
Over 9,000 foreign tourists came from Finland, 8,000 from Russia, 2,000 tourists from Lithuania and 2,000 tourists from Germany.
Just over two-thirds of the foreign visitors stayed in Harju County, the most populous region of Estonia and which includes Tallinn, while Pärnu County hosted 12 percent fo the total, Tarty County 7 percent and Ida-Viru County 4 percent.
Foreign tourists spent a total of 115,000 nights in Estonia, Statistics Estonia says.
By reason for travel, nearly three-quarters of domestic tourists (71 percent) were vacationing in their own country, with most of the remainder (21 percent) on business trips.
As with foreign tourists, domestic tourists stayed most in Harju (21 percent of the total), Pärnu (17 percent), Tartu (12 percent) and Ida-Viru (11 percent) counties, while Saaremaa was also a significant destination, hosting 8 percent of the total for January.
Domestic tourists spent a total of 179,000 nights in accommodation establishments.
A total of 910 accommodation businesses were open in January, a slight rise (of 11) on January 2021.
20,000 rooms, and 45,000 bed spaces, were available.
Room occupancy stood at 29 percent.
The average cost of a guest night was €36 per person, a rise of €6 on year, though a euro cheaper than the last pre-pandemic January 2019.
Tartu County was most expensive on average per person per overnight stay, at €44, followed by Lääne-Viru County at €41, Harju County (including Tallinn) at €38 and Pärnu County €30 per night.
Editor: Andrew Whyte