Tourism rose in Estonia by over 6 percent on year to April, with 250,000 visitors staying in hotels and other guest accommodation in that month, state agency Statistics Estonia says.
This was driven by a rise in the number of foreign tourists; domestic tourism declined, likely in part due to the easing of Covid restrictions in the year April 2022-April 2023.
Statistics Estonia leading analyst Helga Laurmaa said: "The total of foreign tourists was still 19 percent smaller than the last pre-pandemic month of April, in 2019. However, compared with April 2022, the number of foreign tourists increased by nearly a fifth."
April was the first month of 2023 to see a fall on-year in domestic tourist numbers.
This fell 5 percent on year, though was still 17 percent higher than in April 2019.
The easing of Covid restrictions from early 2022 onwards is likely a major factor in the growth of foreign tourism and the decline in domestic tourism – many people in Estonia who in normal times would have vacationed abroad, during the pandemic did so within Estonia.
In comparison with April 2022, tourism from other European nations, as well as from outside Europe, grew in Estonia.
The two most significant providers of tourist numbers – neighboring Finland and Latvia – saw 58,000 and 19,000 visitors to Estonia, respectively, both up from April 2022.
More tourists from other key countries of origin, including Germany, Lithuania, the U.K., Sweden, the U.S., Poland, and various Asian states, also grew on year.
Tourism in April 2023 quick facts (Source: Statistics Estonia)
- Seventy-two percent of foreign visitors were on vacation, while 21 percent were travelling for business purposes.
- Foreign tourists spent a total of 256,000 nights in Estonia.
- 75 percent of the foreign tourists stayed in accommodation businesses in Harju County, which includes Tallinn, followed by Pärnu (11 percent), Tartu (6 percent) and Saaremaa (2 percent) counties. Lääne-Viru, Ida-Viru, Lääne, Valga, Viljandi and Võru counties each accommodated around 1 percent of the total number of foreign tourists.
- The breakdown with respect to domestic tourism saw 68 percent vacationing within their own country, and 23 percent traveling for business and work purposes.
- Domestic tourists spent a total of 207,000 nights in hotels, hostels, guest houses and other accommodation establishments.
- The largest share of domestic tourists (33 percent) was accommodated in Harju County, followed by 13 percent in Pärnu County (where the summer season had not yet begun), 11 percent in Tartu County, and 10 percent in Ida-Viru County. 7 percent of domestic tourists stayed overnight on Saaremaa, an island; 6 percent in Lääne-Viru County, 5 percent in Lääne County, and 5 percent in Valga County.
- Nearly 1,000 accommodation establishments (936 to be precise) served guests both foreign and domestic, across 21,000 rooms and 48,000 bed spaces.
- Room occupancy stood at 43 percent.
- The average cost of a guest night was €45 per person, €5 more than in April 2022 and €8 more than in April 2019.
- The average cost of a guest night rose by 11 percent year-on-year.
- The average cost of an overnight stay per person was €53 in Tartu County, €51 in Lääne-Viru County, €47 in Harju County, €44 in Ida-Viru County, and €38 in Pärnu and Saare counties. The average cost of overnight accommodation rose across most of Estonia's 15 counties.
Statistics Estonia compiled the above data on behalf of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications.
Editor: Andrew Whyte