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Estonian hotels expect few tourists for turn of the year

TALLINN - Estonian accommodation establishments are rather pessimistic about occupancy rates at the turn of the year since tourist flows from Russian and Finland remain low.
Although Tallinn hotels have earlier said they expect the number of Russian tourists to increase by 20 per cent at the end of the year, managing director of the Estonian Hotel and Restaurant Association Maarika Liivamagi told BNS that the share of Russian and Finnish tourists unfortunately is not returning to previous levels.

“The economies of both our neighboring markets remain in a state where people are rather inclined to put off their travel plans. In particular, this applies to tourists expected to arrive from Russia. We can in no way confirm today that the number of Russian tourists is back on an upward path. The market is standing at the level to which it fell a couple of years ago,” Liivamagi said.
In her words, Estonia remains an attractive destination for Russian tourists, but the weak ruble is limiting all sort of consumption, first of all spending outside Russia. “The overall situation wasn’t bad in the fall in terms of Tallinn hotels as occupancy rates improved somewhat in October and November. But at the same time we know that growth did not extend to all of Estonia,” she said.

“Room prices have fallen and expenses have risen, thus the sector as a whole and entrepreneurs’ profitability in particular still remain under fairly strong pressure. The rise in the number of Asian tourists looks nice percentage-wise but is still small in absolute numbers. But recognition is due to all people and institutions who are working in the name of new markets,” Liivamagi said.

The number of Russian tourists has decreased in annual comparison in all months of this year. In the first eight months their number fell 38 per cent to 41,803 tourists. The total number of tourists staying at Estonia’s accommodation establishments meanwhile increased 8.5 per cent to 832,537.

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