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Statistics: Accommodated tourist numbers up 5 percent on year to September

A hotel bed in Estonia.
A hotel bed in Estonia. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Tourist numbers were up 5 percent in September, state agency Statistics Estonia reports, and totaled close to 274,000 when calculated as stays in hotels and other accommodation businesses.

The above concerns the year-on-year figure to September 2023; numbers rose both for foreign tourists and domestic tourists, ie. those Estonian citizens and residents booking accommodation inside the country.

The figure for September was 36 percent down on the preceding month, as tourism high season drew to a close.

Helga Laurmaa, leading analyst at Statistics Estonia, said that 138,000 foreign tourists were accommodated in Estonia in September.

"There were 7 percent more foreign tourists accommodated than in September last year, but the number of foreign tourists did not yet reach the pre-pandemic level and was slightly more than a quarter (27 percent) lower than the figure for September 2019," Laurmaa added.

136,000 domestic tourists stayed in accommodation establishments in September 2023, 4 percent more than in September 2022 and 29 percent more than in September 2019, the last September before the pandemic.

Tourist accommodation figures. Source: Statistics Estonia

September 2023 foreign tourist accommodation numbers quick facts (Source: Statistics Estonia)

  • 74 percent of foreign tourists stated they were on holiday, while 20 percent said they were travelling on business.
  • The largest single country of origin for accommodated foreign tourists was Finland, as is usually the case, and accounting for 35 percent of the total foreign tourists and up by 2 percent on year.
  • Neighboring Latvia was in second place with 13 percent of the total, a rise of 12 percent, followed by Germany (6 percent of the total), Lithuania (5 percent of the total, and a rise on year of 32 percent), the U.S. (4 percent of the total) and the U.K. (4 percent).
  • The number of tourists both from many European countries as well as from countries further afield rose, with accommodated tourist numbers from Germany, the U.K., the U.S., Sweden, and Poland all rising.
  • There were 90 percent more tourists from Asian countries compared with September 2022, though their number represented just 30 percent of the pre-Covid crisis level.
  • Foreign tourists spent nearly 277,000 nights in total in Estonia.
  • By county, Harju County, which includes Tallinn, was by far the most stayed-in region, taking 74 percent of the total of foreign tourists accommodated
  • Pärnu County, including Estonia's summer capital, came second with 10 percent of the total; Tartu County, including Estonia's second city, accommodated 6 percent of the total, and Saaremaa, Estonia's largest island, put up 3 percent of the total for September.
  • Elsewhere, Ida-Viru County accommodated 2 percent of the overall total, while Lääne, Lääne-Viru, Valga and Võru counties each accommodated 1 percent of the foreign tourists.

September 2023 domestic tourist accommodation numbers quick facts (Source: Statistics Estonia)

  • Domestic tourists spent a total of 222,000 nights in accommodation establishments.
  • A total of 69 percent of domestic tourists in September reported being on holiday, with 23 percent on business trips.
  • The largest share of domestic tourists was again accommodated in Harju County (34 percent of the total), followed by Pärnu County (12 percent), Ida-Viru County (10 percent), Tartu County (10 percent) and Saaremaa (7 percent) counties.

September 2023 accommodation vacancies, occupancy and prices quick facts (Source: Statistics Estonia)

  • 1,096 accommodation establishments served visitors in Estonia in September (down by 12 percent compared with August).
  • 23,000 rooms and over 54,000 bed places were available for guests.
  • Room occupancy rate was 46 percent.
  • Average cost of a guest night stood at €48 per person per night, a rise of €3 on year and of €8 compared with September 2019.
  • The average cost of an overnight stay per person was €53 in Harju County, €49 in Tartu County, €48 in Lääne-Viru County, €43 in Saaremaa, Lääne- and Ida-Viru counties, and €42 in Pärnu County.
  • The average nationwide cost of a guest night increased by 7 percent year-on-year.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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