People are travelling more, but there is still some way to go to reach pre-pandemic levels
Text Mark Taylor Photo Andrei Chertkov
The results of Statistics Estonia’s Tourism Survey of 2022 show that Estonian residents made over a million overnight trips abroad last year, which was 90 per cent more than in 2021. The number of overnight domestic trips was nearly 2.6 million, an increase of 16 per cent on the year before.
In 2022, the amount of money spent on trips abroad amounted to over 1 billion euros and on domestic trips to more than 178 million euros.
“The number of Estonian residents travelling has increased compared with the previous two years, but the pre-pandemic level has not yet been reached. In 2019, there were 1.7 million overnight trips abroad and 3.4 million domestic trips, whereas last year a little more than a million trips abroad and 2.6 million trips within Estonia,” said Sigrid Saagpakk, an analyst at Statistics Estonia.
Trips abroad became shorter and more expensive
The most popular destinations in 2022 were neighbouring Finland and Latvia. Last year, 140,000 trips to Finland were made, which was 68 per cent more than the year before. Estonian residents visited Latvia 128,100 times, which is 2.5 times more than in 2021.
Compared with 2021, Estonian residents’ expenditure on trips abroad increased by 15 per cent on average last year. “Expenditure on transport, accommodation, and food and drink was higher than before. Estonian residents mostly stayed in rented accommodation abroad. Compared with a couple of years ago, the use of non-rented accommodation is nearly half of what it was before the pandemic,” Saagpakk noted.
In total, 40 per cent of trips abroad made in 2022 lasted between 1 and 3 nights, while in 2021, the number of trips lasting between 4 and 7 nights was higher. “However, there is a trend towards Estonian residents preferring trips of up to seven nights. The share of foreign trips longer than seven nights has remained stable in recent years at between 20 and 30 per cent,” added Saagpakk.
Domestic business trips became more frequent but more expensive than before
In 2022, the majority of overnight domestic trips were made for holiday purposes (1.5 million), followed by visits to friends or relatives (767,000). Compared with 2021, the number of domestic business trips increased by 23 per cent (a total of 253,600 trips). Spending on overnight business trips within Estonia was nearly 63 per cent higher in 2022 than the year before.
As in previous years, the most popular domestic destinations were Tallinn, Harjumaa, Pärnumaa, and Tartumaa. Compared with 2021, there has been a significant increase in the number of visits to Hiiumaa (up 57 per cent) and Ida-Virumaa (up 42 per cent). In 2022, domestic trips by Estonian residents usually lasted between 1 and 3 nights.