Estonian residents travelled less in 2016, but they spent more on their travels

Tarass Snitsarenko
Eesti Pank Statistics Department

Foreign visitors made 6 million visits to Estonia in 2016, which is about 4% more than in 2015. Foreign visitors consumed more than 1.3 billion euros of goods and services in Estonia in 2016, which was 2% more than in 2015.

The number of same-day visits increased by 3%1 and made up 47% of the total number of visits, while the number of tourists staying overnight rose by 5%. The average overnight stay lasted 4.2 days, which was the same as in 2015.

There was a slight increase of 1% in the number of visits from Finland, which accounted for around 40% of all visits. The number of visitors from other European Union countries increased by 6%. The biggest growth was of around one fifth in the number of tourist visits from Ireland, Spain and Belgium.

One visit to Estonia in four was made from outside the European Union. Tourists from Russia made 850,000 visits to Estonia, which was 4% more than a year previously and accounted for 14% of all visits. The number of visits from the USA was up 30,000 on 2015, while the number coming from Belarus was down 15% at the same time, and the number from Turkey was down by one tenth.

Estonian residents made some 3.5 million trips to other countries, which was 2% less than in 20152. Visitors from Estonia to foreign countries spent an estimated 800 million euros there, which was 6% more than in the previous year.

Countries in the European Union received 80% of the visits, and that figure was the same as in the previous year. There were notable drops of 15% in the number of trips by Estonian residents to Norway, of 13% in the number of trips to Belgium, and of 12% in the number of trips to France.

The preferences of Estonian residents seeking the sun were not the same as in 2015, as 40% fewer trips were made to Turkey, while 17% more were made to Bulgaria, 18% more to Croatia and 22% more to Greece.

Trips to Russia stayed constant at 275,000.

There was no change in the number of overnight visits by Estonian residents or in their average length, which remained constant at 3.7 days. Same-day visits accounted for 14% of the total, and there were 4% fewer such visits.


1 All comparisons have been drawn on an annual basis if not indicated otherwise.

2 The number of trips abroad and the number of foreign countries visited are not the same, as one trip abroad may include visits to several different countries.

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 0902
Email: tarass.snitsarenko [at] eestipank.ee