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Statistics: Foreign tourists have found their way back to Estonia

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

According to Statistics Estonia, in 2023, Estonian accommodation establishments served over 3.43 million tourists last year, which is 5 percent more than in 2022. The number of foreign tourists increased last year, while the number of domestic tourists decreased.

Helga Laurmaa, leading analyst at Statistics Estonia, said that nearly 1.67 million foreign tourists and nearly 1.76 million domestic tourists were accommodated in Estonia. "Compared with 2022, there were 14 percent more foreign tourists, but their number did not yet reach the pre-pandemic level and was similar to the number of tourist arrivals in 2010. The number of domestic tourists was 2 percent lower than the record number registered in 2022," Laurmaa added.

The biggest number of foreign visitors came from Finland (697,000) and Latvia (229,000). Compared with 2022, there were 18 percent and 12 percent more accommodated tourists from these neighboring countries, respectively. Tourist arrivals from Finland have not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels, but the number of tourists from Latvia was up by a fourth compared to 2019. Tourist arrivals from many more distant countries – such as Germany, the United Kingdom, the USA – were higher in 2023 than in 2022 but still lower than in 2019.

In December 2023, the number of tourists accommodated came to 271,000, which is 5 percent more than in December 2022. There were about 141,000 foreign and 131,000 domestic tourists, which means that there were 17 percent more foreign tourists and 5 percent fewer domestic tourists accommodated than in December 2022.

Eighty-three percent of foreign tourists stayed in accommodation establishments in Harju county, followed by Pärnu (8 percent) and Tartu (4 percent) counties. Foreign tourists spent nearly 279,000 nights in total in Estonia. The largest share of domestic tourists (33 percent) was accommodated in Harju County, 14 percent in Pärnu county, 11 percent in Tartu county, 11 percent in Ida-Viru county, and 7 percent in Valga county. Domestic tourists spent a total of 210,000 nights in accommodation establishments.

In December, there were 938 accommodation establishments with five or more bed places open for tourists – this is 15 fewer than in November. There were 21,000 rooms and 48,000 beds available for guests. The room occupancy rate was 44 percent. The average cost of a guest night was €49 per person, which is three euros more than in November.

2023 tourism statistics. Source: Statistics Estonia

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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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