Russian Tourism to Estonia Halves in One Year
- New Europe Investor
- March 12, 2015
Estonia saw a fall in foreign tourists in January of 14% compared to the same period last year.
According to data from hotel bookings in the country, 93,000 foreign tourists stayed in Estonia in the first month of the year.
Of the 93,000 foreign tourists, 28% of these were Russian, totalling 26,000. However, last year Russian tourism to Estonia came to 47,000, showing a decrease of 45% in 12 months.
Reasons for the fall in Russian tourism are twofold. The ongoing conflict over Eastern Ukraine has seen a rise in tensions between Russia and the EU.
Compounding this has been the lowering in the value of the ruble, making Estonia far more expensive for Russian tourists than it was a year ago.
At mid January in both 2014 and 2015, the ruble’s value to the euro went from 45 to 75, a decrease of over 65%. The ruble has since strengthened to the euro, thanks to recovering oil prices and an underlining weakening of the euro itself.
Other Tourism on the Up
Tourism in general in the country has been almost flat at only a 2% decrease.
The drop in Russian tourism has been compensated by an 18% increase in domestic tourism (including business trips), and a significant increase in tourism from nearby; Finland, Sweden, Latvia and Lithuania. In addition, the country has seen healthy growth from Germany and Great Britain.
There has also been a 20% increase in Asian tourism year on year based on January statistics.