Statistics: Peak tourism season in Estonia still below 2019 levels

A hotel room in Estonia. Photo is illustrative.
A hotel room in Estonia. Photo is illustrative. Source: Anna Aurelia Minev/ERR

According to data provided by Statistics Estonia, 1.25 million tourists stayed in Estonian accommodation establishments during the three summer months – June, July, August – of 2023. While there was a one percent increase from the previous summer, the figures were still 12 percent lower than in 2019. This summer, more foreign and fewer domestic tourists used accommodation establishments in Estonia.

Helga Laurmaa, leading analyst at Statistics Estonia, said that 609,000 foreign tourists were accommodated in Estonia over the three summer months of 2023.

"Foreign arrivals did not yet reach the pre-crisis levels of June-August 2019, however, compared with the summer of 2022, the number of foreign tourists increased by 7 percent," Laurmaa said.

While the number of domestic tourists fell 4 percent this summer compared to the previous year, there were still 16 percent more than in June to August 2019.

During the peak tourism season, 265,000 tourists from Finland stayed in Estonian accommodation establishments, 43 percent of the total number of foreign tourists.

The share of Finnish tourists among the total number of foreign tourists has increased compared to pre-crisis levels. The percentage of Latvian and Lithuanian tourists has also risen. The number of Russian tourists however, is now 92 lower than in 2019.

In August 2023, more than 429,000 tourists stayed in accommodation establishments in Estonia, marking an increase of 2 percent from August 2022 and decrease of 11 percent in comparison to July 2023.

Accommodation establishments hosted more foreign tourists and fewer domestic tourists than in August last year. 82 percent of foreign visitors were in Estonia on vacation, while 14 percent were travelling for business.

Change in the number of tourists accommodated. Source: Statisics Estonia

69 percent of foreign tourists stayed in accommodation establishments in Harju County, followed by 12 percent in Pärnu County and 7 percent in Tartu County. 4 percent of foreign tourists stayed in Saare County, while 2 percent stayed in Ida-Viru and Lääne-Viru counties.

Foreign travelers spent a total of nearly 409,000 nights in Estonia, while 225,000 domestic tourists stayed in accommodation establishments this August.

74 percent of domestic guests were on vacation, with 14 percent traveling for business. 22 percent of domestic tourists were accommodated in Harju County, while 15 percent stayed in Pärnu County and 10 percent in Ida-Viru County. Lääne-Viru, Saare, and Tartu counties each hosted 8 percent of domestic tourists. Domestic tourists spent over 385,000 nights in accommodation establishments in total.

In August, 1,243 accommodation establishments served visitors in Estonia, offering 24,000 rooms and almost 58,000 beds for guests. The room occupancy rate was 54 percent. The average cost per guest for one night in an accommodation establishment was €48, which is €6 more than in August 2022 and €9 more than in August 2019. The average cost per guest per night was up 14 percent on year. The average cost of an overnight stay per person this August was €56 in Harju County, €48 in Pärnu County, €47 in Saare County, €42 in Tartu County, and €41 in Ida-Viru County. Accommodation costs increased in most counties.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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