Statistics: Trips outside Estonia 90 percent up on year to 2022

Cars waiting to board a ferry to Saaremaa, at Virtsu Harbor on the Estonian mainland.
Cars waiting to board a ferry to Saaremaa, at Virtsu Harbor on the Estonian mainland. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Residents of Estonia made over a million outbound overnight trips in 2022, a rise on year of over 90 percent and indication of a move towards pre-pandemic levels of travel, though these still have yet to be fully attained, state agency Statistics Estonia says.

Outbound (ie. outside Estonia) trips have become shorter, while spending in this area has risen, Statistics Estonia says, while trips inside Estonia for business purposes are also costlier – but nonetheless more frequent.

Domestic business trips are more frequent but more expensive than before

The number of overnight domestic trips stood at nearly 2.6 million, a 16 percent rise on year.

Estonian citizens and residents spent over a billion on trips outside Estonia, the agency says, and over €178 million on domestic trips.

Statistics Estonia bases its results on a tourism survey for 2022.

Sigrid Saagpakk, Statistics Estonia analyst, said: "In 2019, there were 1.7 million outbound overnight trips and 3.4 million domestic trips, whereas last year a little more than a million trips abroad and 2.6 million trips within Estonia were made," noting that the number of Estonian residents travelling has risen compared with 2020 and 2021, though pre-pandemic levels have still to be reached.

Number of domestic and outbound trips. Source: Statistics Estonia

Many trips outside Estonia are for short periods of time, she added.

"There is a trend towards Estonian residents preferring outbound trips of up to seven nights. The share of foreign trips longer than seven nights has remained stable in recent years at between 20 percent and 30 percent."

"Expenditure on transport, accommodation, and food and drink was higher than before. Estonian residents mostly stayed in rented accommodation when abroad. Compared with a couple of years ago, the use of non-rented accommodation is nearly half of what is was prior to the pandemic," Saagpakk said, according to a Statistics Estonia press release.

As for tourism inside Estonia, which saw a boon during the pandemic, Saagpakk said: "For the most part, people stayed in rented accommodation," which, she added, was a change on previous trends.

"Comparing the accommodation choices made on trips with those of previous years, we can see that in the past, there had been a greater preference for non-rented accommodation on domestic trips," Saagpakk said.

Trips outside Estonia in 2022: Quick facts (Source: Statistics Estonia)

  • The most popular destinations for Estonian residents travelling outside the country in 2022 were neighboring Finland and Latvia.
  • Estonian residents' expenditure on outbound trips rose 15 percent on year to 2022.
  • Forty percent of outbound trips made in 2022 lasted between one and three nights; in 2021, the number of longer outbound trips (lasting between four and seven nights) was higher.
  • 140,000 trips to Finland were made, a rise of 68 percent on year.
  • Estonian residents visited Latvia 128,100 times, 2.5 times the figure for 2021. 
Top countries destinations. Source: Statistics Estonia

Trips made inside Estonia in 2022: Quick facts (Source: Statistics Estonia)

  • The highest number of overnight domestic trips was made for vacation purposes (1.5 million), followed by visits to friends or relatives (767,000).
  • The number of domestic business trips increased by 23 percent (totaling 253,600 trips) on year to 2022.
  • Expenditure on overnight business trips within Estonia stood at nearly 63 percent more in 2022 than in 2021.
  • Domestic trips by Estonian residents usually lasted between one and three nights.
  • As in previous years, the most popular domestic destinations were: Harju County (including Tallinn), Pärnu County, and Tartu County.
  • Compared with 2021, there has been a significant increase in the number of visits to Hiiumaa (up 57 percent) and Ida-Viru County (up 42 percent).
Accommodation options. Source: Statistics Estonia

Statistics Estonia has been collected data on tourism since 2013, via the Tourism Survey, whose results are used to analyze trips and to assess the situation of the tourism sector, and to identify issues and their potential solutions.

The survey samples 2,500 people per quarter, with the results published on Statistics Estonia's website.

More detailed information is here.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

Source: Statistics Estonia

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