Estonian residents are travelling more and more



  • Residents of Estonia travelling abroad spent an estimated 800 million euros there in 2017, which is 50 million euros more than a year earlier
  • More and more trips are being made from Estonia to traditional holiday destinations
  • Foreign tourists spent an estimated 1.2 billion euros in Estonia last year, which is 3% more than in 2016
  • Numbers of tourists coming to Estonia from Asia have risen fivefold since 2008
  • The number of tourists from Finland was lower than a year earlier

Estonian residents made 3.7 million visits to other countries in 2017, which was 5% more than in 2016[1]. Trips within the European Union accounted for 80% of these, and there were 100,000 more of them than a year earlier. One in five visits was to Finland, though the number of such visits fell by 2%. The number of trips to Norway was down 6% meanwhile.

People from Estonia made notably more trips to holiday destinations than they did in 2016. The number of visits to Bulgaria rose by a further 17% and the number to Greece by 11%. The number of trips to Croatia has risen for seven years in a row now, and has tripled over the past decade. After falling in 2016, numbers of visitors to holiday resorts in Turkey were up 35% and those to Egypt were up 75%.

Estonian residents made 6% more visits to countries in the CIS than in the previous year, while trips to Russia stayed constant at 275,000.

The number of overnight visits was 6% higher and each visit lasted an average of 3.7 days, while same-day trips accounted for 14% of the total, and the number of them remained unchanged.

Travellers or from Estonia spent an estimated 800 million euros abroad in 2017, which is 50 million more than in the previous year. Estonia’s imports of travel services were around 1.1 billion euros in 2017, which is twice as much as a decade ago.

The number of foreign visitors to Estonia was up 3% in 2017 and more than six million visits were made to Estonia. The number of tourists from Finland was down 5% and they accounted for 35% of all visitors, which is the lowest level since 2008. The number of residents of other European Union countries visiting Estonia was up by 10%. There were notable increases of 20% in the number of visits from the United Kingdom and 54% in the number from Belgium, which was partly due to Estonia holding the presidency of the European Union.

The number of tourists from Asia continues to rise ever more strongly. The share of such visitors was the largest ever in 2017 at 5% of all visitors, and the number of them has risen fivefold in a decade.

There were some 900,000 visits from Russia to Estonia, which was 4% more than in 2016. Slightly fewer visitors came from other CIS countries. There was a substantial fall of one third in the number of visits to Estonia by Belarusians.

There were 3% more overnight visitors to Estonia in 2017 than in 2016, and the average overnight visitor stayed for 4.2 days. Same-day visits accounted for 47% of visits. Foreign tourists are estimated to have spent some 1.2 billion euros in Estonia, which is 3% more than in 2016. Estonian exports of travel services were estimated at 1.4 billion euros in 2017, which is 70% more than a decade ago.

The movement of travellers has a noticeable effect on the export and import of travel services in the Estonian balance of payments. The balance of payments statistics for 2017 will be published on 8 March 2018.


More detailed information can be found on the Eesti Pank website under International travel statistics. The methodology for collecting International travel statistics was designed by researchers at Eesti Pank and the University of Tartu in partnership with OÜ Positium LBS. The mobile positioning data are collected and processed by OÜ Positium LBS, which gets the data from the telephone network operators in an anonymised form so as to protect fully the privacy of the telephone users. Statistical methods for the use, processing and presentation of the data do not permit identification of any individual telephone or user and comply with the law on personal data protection. A more detailed description of the methodology can be found on the Eesti Pank website under International travel statistics.

Statistical releases are published by Eesti Pank together with statistical data. The release is independent of economic policy releases and is presented separately from them.

For further information:
Tarass Snitsarenko
Eesti Pank Statistics Department
Telephone: 668 0906
Email: [email protected]