Number of foreign tourists visiting Estonia rose substantially in March

Tourists at bars and restaurants in Tallinn's Old Town.
Tourists at bars and restaurants in Tallinn's Old Town. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The number of tourists staying overnight in Estonia increased by 276 percent last month compared to March 2021, data from Statistics Estonia shows.

In March, 192,000 tourists stayed in accommodation establishments in Estonia. Of those, 77,000 people were travelers from abroad and 116,000 were domestic tourists.

"The number of foreign tourists has not yet reached the pre-pandemic level, but it was only 38 percent smaller than that. In March 2021, there were just 8,700 foreign tourists. The number of domestic tourists set a new record, just like in January this year," said Helga Laurmaa, analyst at Statistics Estonia.

Domestic tourists spent a total of 197,000 nights in accommodation establishments. 68 percent of domestic tourists were on vacation and 23 percent were on business trips.

The biggest share of domestic tourists (34 percent) stayed in Harju County, followed by 15 percent in Pärnu County, 14 percent in Tartu County and 10 percent in Ida-Viru County.

Lääne-Viru, Saare and Valga counties each accommodated 5 percent of domestic tourists.

Tourists accommodated in Estonia, 2019-2022. Source: Statistics Estonia

Compared to March 2021, there was an increase in the number of tourists from European countries as well as from countries outside of Europe. The very low reference base due to the coronavirus pandemic was still one of the reasons for the significant change.

The biggest number of tourists came from Finland (nearly 23,000) and Latvia (over 16,000). There were nearly 6,000 tourists from Russia, 3,000 tourists from Lithuania and 3,000 tourists from Germany.

The majority — 72 percent — of foreign tourists stayed in Harju County, followed by Pärnu (11 percent), Tartu (7 percent) and Ida-Viru (4 percent) counties. Saare and Valga counties each accommodated 1 percent of foreign tourists. Foreign tourists spent a total of 157,000 nights in Estonia.

In March, there were 909 accommodation establishments open for tourists in Estonia, which is 12 establishments more than in March last year.

The average cost of a guest night was €37 per person, which is €11 more than in March 2021 and €1 higher than in March 2019.

Statistics Estonia points out the number of foreign tourists does not include refugees from Ukraine.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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