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Tallinn welcomed more Estonian tourists than ever this summer

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Over the three summer months, Tallinn’s accommodation establishments welcomed a total of 217,000 visitors, an increase of nearly 10% compared with last year. Among the visitors, 61% were foreign tourists and 39% were domestic tourists.

While foreign tourists decreased by one-seventh compared with last summer, domestic visitors nearly doubled. Estonians stayed in Tallinn’s accommodation establishments nearly three times more than they did in summer 2019. Tourists spent a total of 450,100 nights (+18%) in accommodation in Tallinn during the summer months. Foreign visitors booked 296,400 overnight stays (-2%), while domestic overnight stays increased – Estonians spent a total of 153,700 nights in Tallinn accommodation (+93%).

Despite the city’s increased visitor count over the summer, the considerable drop in foreign tourists over the past 1.5 years has not been offset by the rapid growth in domestic visitors. Accommodation establishments saw a 63% drop in visitors this summer compared with summer 2019. Among the positive developments are longer visitor trips (2.07 nights) and a more diversified tourism market.

Foreign tourists

Over the three summer months, Tallinn’s accommodation establishments hosted 132,900 foreign tourists (-15%), of whom two-thirds were holiday-goers. Finland (31,300), Latvia (12,500) and Germany (11,500) accounted for the highest number of foreign visitors. Although Finns accounted for the largest share (24%) of foreign tourists visiting Tallinn during the summer months, there were 65% fewer Finns than last year. The biggest obstacle to travelling between Estonia and Finland this year was the COVID-19 travel restrictions. Unlike last year when Finns began travelling as early as Midsummer, this year, more visitors arrived from Finland from the second half of July.

There were also fewer Latvians in Tallinn this summer (-27%). The decline in Latvian tourists’ travel interest could be explained by differences in COVID-19 rules between Estonia and Latvia (no Baltic travel bubble) as well as the fact that more destinations were accessible from Latvia.

The decline in these two markets may have contributed to the drop in foreign tourists this summer.

This year’s number of visitors from more distant countries increased in comparison with last summer but was not quite as high as that of the years prior to the virus epidemic. One of Europe’s biggest tourist markets, Germany, has shown strong signs of recovery in Tallinn, with 31% more tourists arriving this year than in summer 2020. International sports competitions held in Tallinn this summer (e.g. European Athletics Junior U20 Championships, European U21 Taekwondo Championships) also had a positive impact.

Although the usual level of foreign tourism is still far from recovering, the summer growth figures in the German, UK, Russian and Swedish markets suggest that interest in travelling will continue. The number of tourists visiting Tallinn will increase as more convenient travel options become readily available.

Domestic tourists

A total of 84,100 Estonians stayed in Tallinn’s accommodation establishments during the summer months, up 92% or 40,300 more than last summer. A large proportion of Estonians (71%) visited Tallinn while on vacation during the summer. The number of domestic tourists was almost one-third higher than in summer 2019.

One reason for the significant increase in overnight stays during the summer months was Visit Tallinn’s ‘Discover Tallinn!’ campaign, which ran throughout the summer and featured events, unique areas, food experiences, family attractions, museums and their exhibitions as well as three nearby islands. Following the campaign, a follow-up survey (in Estonian) revealed that Estonians were satisfied with their time in Tallinn this summer.

For more information on tourism statistics in Tallinn, visit the Visit Tallinn website.