Tourism in May up 6 percent on 2018

Tourist checking in at a Tallinn hotel (picture is illustrative).
Tourist checking in at a Tallinn hotel (picture is illustrative). Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Tourism in Estonia saw a 6 percent year-on-year (y-o-y) rise to May 2019, government agency Statistics Estonia reports.

A total of 322,000 people stayed in accommodation establishments in May 2019, a 6 percent rise on the previous year and with both domestic and foreign tourism seeing an increase.

Foreign tourism

211,000 foreign tourists stayed in accommodation establishments in May, according to Statistics Estonia, for a total of 406,000 nights – both figures representing a rise of 5 percent y-o-y.

Finnish tourists made up the largest component, with about a third coming from that country. Other significant countries of origin were Estonia's other two neighbors, Russia (12 percent) and Latvia (8 percent). Nonetheless the number of tourists from Finland declined on the previous year, by 15 percent, Statistics Estonia says. Numbers of tourists from Russia and Latvia, as well as from Germany and Sweden, rose y-o-y, with Russian tourism in particular seeing a 41 percent rise.

Tourists from Asian countries were another demographic which saw significant growth – of 16 percent y-o-y, Statistics Estonia says.

Domestic Tourism

A total of 110,000 domestic tourists stayed in accommodation establishments in May 2019 in Estonia, a y-o-y rise of 9 percent according to Statistics Estonia. This represented a total of 182,000 nights stayed, or a 7 percent y-o-y rise. Of these, 61 percent were vacationing and 26 percent on business trips, Statistics Estonia reports.

As might be expected, domestic tourism was more evenly spread across the country than foreign tourism which is larely Tallinn-based, with just over a quarter of domestic tourists staying in Harju County, and between 10 and 15 percent staying in Pärnu, Tartu and Ida-Viru Counties.

Occupancy rates

In May 2019, 1,155 registered accommodation establishments, ranging from the smallest bed and breakfasts through to the largest hotels, offered overnight services for tourists in Estonia. A total of 22,000 rooms and 51,000 bed spaces were available. Occupancy stood at 50 percent and 37 percent of these respectively. Occupancy rates are likely to rise in June as the full tourist season gets underway.

Average prices

Accommodation average prices rose by about €2 to May 2019 compared with the previous year, to €43 per night.

Harju County was the most expensive at €52, with the average price in the next three-largest counties by population, Tartu, Pärnu and Ida-Viru Counties, reported at €38, €32 and €31 respectively.

Editor: Andrew Whyte

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