Statistics: Number of Finnish tourists visiting Estonia tripled in November

Finnish tourists at Tallinn ferry port.
Finnish tourists at Tallinn ferry port. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The number of tourists from Finland who visited Estonia rose by 35 percent on year to November, state agency Statistics Estonia reports, and totaled close to 226,000.

Meanwhile, both foreign and domestic tourism rose, over the same time period, though the low reference base deriving from the Covid pandemic played a significant role.

November itself is naturally off-season, though can see growing numbers towards the end of the month as Christmas approaches.

For the purposes of these figures, those fleeing the war in Ukraine who were put up in accommodation businesses in November are not included in the foreign tourists categories.

Statistics Estonia analyst Helga Laurmaa said that that 105,300 foreign and 120,400 domestic tourists were accommodated in Estonia in November 2022.

She said: "Compared with November 2021, there were 60 percent more foreign tourists."

"This sharp rise was mainly due to the low reference base. The number of foreign tourists did not yet reach pre-pandemic levels, as it was comparable to the figures for November 2010 and 2011. However, the number of domestic tourists set a new record for November," Laurmaa continued, via a Statistics Estonia press release.

Finnish tourists also comprised the largest proportion of foreign visitors, totaling around 42,000 in November and as the festive season approached, and were followed by tourists from another neighboring country, Latvia (around 17,000).

While Finnish tourism still had not recovered fully to pre-pandemic levels, the figures for Latvia were up 14 percent.

There were also larger numbers of tourists arriving from several countries further afield, namely the U.S., Italy, France and Germany, compared with November 2019, ie. the last November before the Covid pandemic struck.

Arrivals from Norway, Sweden, and Asian countries were still, however, far below the level for November 2019 (see also graph below).

A total of 78 percent of the foreign tourists stayed in accommodation establishments in Harju County, the most populous region of the country, followed by Pärnu County (10 percent), including the resort town of Pärnu, and Tartu County (5 percent).

Foreign tourists spent almost 219,000 nights in Estonia in total.

As regards domestic tourists, ie. those staying in hotels, guest houses etc. inside their own country, for all reasons, 64 percent reported the purpose of their trip was a vacation, while 27 percent were on business trips.

The largest share of domestic tourists (35 percent) again were accommodated in Harju County, followed by 14 percent in Pärnu County, 12 percent in Tartu County, 9 percent in Ida-Viru County, and 6 percent in Lääne-Viru County (which includes the town of Haapsalu).

Domestic tourists spent a total of 199,000 nights in accommodation establishments in Estonia, Statistics Estonia says.

In November 2022, a total of 954 paid accommodation establishments consisting of five or more bed places served visitors – 19 fewer than in October.

 Room vacancies and bed vacancies were reported at 21,000 and 48,000 respectively.

The room occupancy rate in November stood at 41 percent, while the average cost of a guest night was €45 per person, per night, a rise of a single euro on the previous month.

The average cost of an overnight stay per person was highest in Ida-Viru county (€50 per person), followed by Tartu County (€49), Harju County (€48), Lääne-Viru County (€47), and Pärnu County (€34).

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

Statistics Estonia compiled the above report on behalf of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communication.

More detailed information is here, here and here.

Editor: Andrew Whyte

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