Marketing campaigns highlighting Estonia's colder climate will not be created in the near future, Enterprise Estonia (EAS) said on Tuesday. Temperatures surpassed 40 degrees in southern Europe this week and trends show tourists may avoid the region in the future and look for new vacation spots.
Parts of Italy, Spain, and Greece are experiencing record temperatures and wildfires have broken out across the region. Similar weather patterns have occurred over the past couple of summers and are expected to continue in the coming years.
A new report produced by the European Commission also suggests tourists are increasingly planning holidays with cooler climates in mind.
Estonia's average summer temperature is approximately 20 degrees Celsius and does not usually rise above 30 degrees, data shows.
ERR asked Rainer Aavik, head of EAS' tourism department, if Estonia's cooler weather could be used to attract tourists during the hot summer season. But Aavik said he is wary of such campaigns.
"Obviously in terms of tourism marketing, it's a bit of a hard sell. As a whole, we are selling the Nordic experience and the fact that there is plenty of nature and fresh air. But positioning ourselves as an opposite to warmer countries is unlikely to benefit Estonia in the long term," he said.
Asked why this approach will not work, Aavik said we coexist on the same planet the effects of global warming will also be felt in Estonia.
However, looking at the long term, he said Estonia's tourism sector could benefit as there are four distinct seasons and the climate is more moderate than in the south.
But campaigns focusing on Estonia's cold weather are not currently planned by EAS, the official said.
"I certainly do not rule out that some of the next campaigns may have this message, but they are prepared at least six months in advance," Aavik told ERR.
"Estonia is quite a small market. We need to generate interest other than just in the climate for [people to] come here. To talk about the fact that there is a long history here and other things to do. Maybe the climate is not the first thing that encourages tourists, but it has a supporting effect," said Aavik.
He said Estonia is currently marketing itself as a new Nordic country.
"If we take the latest surveys carried out in Germany, we can see that Estonia is more likely to be visited together with Finland. The list of travel preferences from Germany to the Nordic countries is Iceland, Norway, Finland, and then Estonia," Aavik said.
"In the last few years, the Spanish and Italian markets have also been very important for us, where we see a very clear increase in interest in traveling to Estonia, but in those countries, the limited connections are still an obstacle today, which is why all these travel wishes cannot be realized," he added.
Editor: Aleksander Krjukov, Helen Wright