Tourist numbers down in Estonia, but sales grow

  • 2007-11-21
  • From wire reports

TALLINN - Tourist numbers are down 4 percent over the first three quarters of 2007, the Statistical Office announced Nov. 14, pointing to one of the most tangible repercussions to the two nights of rioting that strangled Tallinn in April.

At the same time the Estonian Association of Hotels and Restaurants announced that sales were up over the same period by 5.6 percent, which would indicate that the hospitality industry has not suffered from the drop in the number of tourists.

According to the Statistical Office, 1.1 million foreign tourists stayed in accommodation establishments from January to September, some 42,000 's or 4 percent 's fewer than during the same period in 2006.

Remarkably, the decrease in foreign tourists was more than offset by an increase in domestic tourists.

Estonians spent more nights in accommodation establishments over the nine-month period, bringing the total number of guest stays to 1.8 million, or 4 percent more than in the third quarters last year.

In all, the number of local tourists staying in accommodation establishments increased by 106,000 over the two periods.

Half of all foreign tourists who used the services of Estonia's accommodation establishments were from Finland. Still, their numbers decreased by 37,000 compared to the first nine months of 2006.

Meanwhile, net sales by members of the Estonian Association of Hotels and Restaurants amounted to 1.3 billion kroons (87.5 million euros) in the first nine months of this year. Conferences were largely responsible for the annual increase, growing 21 percent to 24.8 million kroons.