Estonia's second biggest city Tartu has seen a 25 percent increase in tourists compared to last summer, preliminary data shows. But the situation has still not quite returned to pre-pandemic levels.
Monday's "Aktuaalne kaamera" spoke to business owners in Tartu to find out how they are experiencing the summer.
Anneli Palopson, manager of Pub RP9 on Tartu's Raekoja plats, said this year there are more tourists than last year and their custom is very important.
"However, it is still not quite comparable to what it was like here years ago, before all these crises. But every year it seems to be getting better, with more customers than during the crisis. Those years were perhaps so terrible that I don't want to remember them," she said.
Preliminary data shows there are 25 percent more foreign tourists visiting the City of Good Thoughts than last year, said Annika Ojasaar, head of tourism in Tartu County.
"If in the past our main visitors were Finns, now we can see that the percentage of Latvian visitors is already higher than the percentage of Finns," said Ojasaar.
Vaiko Peebo, program manager of Püssirohukelder, said the business has recovered from the pandemic but Russia's war in Ukraine made the situation a little more complicated.
He said summers are more lively in Tatu than they were a decade ago, but the drop in Finns is noticeable. The venue usually hosts bus tours but there are not many this summer.
"They are probably not planning [them] now because of the turbulent situation, people don't dare to plan that far ahead," said Peebo.
Ojasaar said she is not sure if the number of tourists with surpass the pre-coronavirus level but, in her opinion, it will not be far short.
Next year, Tartu will hold the EU capital of culture title, so hopes for more tourists will be high.
Editor: Barbara Oja, Helen Wright