In 2016, 2 million foreign visitors boosted Estonian tourism industry. Most travelers came from Finland, Russia and Latvia, according to the Estonian Centre of Tourism Development with reference to the Department of Statistics.
About half of foreign visitors (46%) arrived in Estonia from Finland. 10% were Russians and 7% Latvians. Compared to 2015, the interest of visitors from these countries in Estonian tourism attractions increased significantly.
The number of tourists from Finland increased by 5%, while from Russia by 8%. However, the most significant increase was registered among Latvian tourists - 11%. Latvia’s inflow has been on the rise for six consecutive years.
The number of Russian tourists in the country is growing steadily over the past two years, the department said. In general, Russians prefer to stay in hotels in Tallinn or in Eastern Estonia, as a rule, for one night. In 2015, Russians spent 394 nights in hotels. Last year, the number rose to 413 thousand nights.
As reported by the Estonian Centre of Tourism Development, while 73% of foreigners visiting Estonia were leisure tourists, 21% of them were in the country on a business trip.
Estonian tourism authorities recorded a significant increase in the number of visitors in Pärnu in 2016. The number of overnight stays in hotels in the city increased by a record 42%. It is to be noted that this resort city was popular not only in the peak season, but also throughout the whole year.
Spa resorts in Estonia enjoyed a particularly successful year, especially supported by guests from Latvia.
Traditionally one of the most popular months for foreign tourists was December. In December 2016, 151 thousand people were accommodated in Estonian hotels, which is 11% more than in December 2015.
908 local hotels were offering tourist services by the end of 2016. The total number of rooms reached 19 thousand (43 thousand places). The average occupancy rate in December was 42% and the average cost of an overnight stay remained at a similar level as the year before – 37 euro.
The number of Estonians travelling domestically in 2016 reached 1.3 million people.