Estonian residents travelled abroad in unprecedented numbers in the third quarter

Estonian residents visited foreign countries 1.1 million times in the third quarter of 2017, which is one tenth more than in the same quarter of the previous year. Of those visits, 80% were within the European Union. The biggest increases in the number of visits were of 23% to Belgium, 25% to Croatia and 22% to Poland, while the number of visits to Finland was down by 3%. The number of visits by Estonian residents to countries in the CIS was up by one fifth, and 90,000 visits were made to Russia. Holiday destinations in Turkey again gained in popularity, with 74% more visits than a year previously.

The number of overnight visits rose by 9%, and the average length of each trip was 3.8 days. Same-day trips accounted for 13% of the total, and they increased in number by 11%.

Estonian tourists spent an estimated 250 million euros abroad in the third quarter, which is 15 million euros more than in the same quarter a year earlier.

Over 2 million foreign tourists visited Estonia in the third quarter of 2017, which is 2% more people than in the same period in the previous year. The number of tourists coming from Finland was 9% down on a year earlier, and for the first time they accounted for fewer than one third of the total number of visits. The number of visitors from other European Union  countries coming to Estonia increased by the same amount meanwhile. There were notable increases of 69% in the number of visitors coming from Belgium, of 25% in the number coming from France, and of 22% in the number from the United Kingdom, which is partly a consequence of Estonia’s presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Over 250,000 visits were made from Russia to Estonia, which is 2% more than at the same time in the previous year. There were 7% more visits to Estonia from Asian countries, with the number of tourists from China increasing by one fifth.

The number of overnight visits was 2% higher in the third quarter than a year earlier, and overnight visitors stayed for an average of 4.7 days. The number of same-day visitors remained the same and accounted for 48% of all visits. Foreign tourists spent an estimated 430 million euros in Estonia in the third quarter, which is a little more than in the same quarter of the previous year.


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 the third quarter of this year will be published on 7 December.

When viewing the foreign travel statistics, please be aware that the time series have been revised from 2008 onwards.

For further information:
Tarass Snitsarenko
Eesti Pank Statistics Department
Telephone: 668 0906
Email: tarass.snitsarenko [at] eestipank.ee