The number of accommodated tourists in Estonia increased by 1.1% y/y in October, following a 1.8% y/y drop in September, figures of the statistical office, published on Thursday showed. The improvement was mainly driven by domestic tourists, which grew tangibly by 5.6% y/y, in line with rising wages and employment. Meanwhile, the number of foreign tourists saw their decline decelerate to 1.8% y/y, from 2.4% y/y in September. The number of tourists arriving from Finland and Russia decreased by 9% y/y and 1% y/y, respectively, while the number of tourists from Latvia increased by 5% y/y. The drop in Finnish and Russian tourists has been argued to be largely attributed to the alcohol excise duty hike introduced earlier this year. To recall, Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s chief Maid Palts had previously warned that due to the excise duty hike and the narrowing difference between alcohol prices in neighboring countries, the number of foreign tourists will be negatively affected.
Meanwhile, an increase was also registered from several other European countries — Germany, Lithuania, Norway and Spain, while on the other hand fewer tourists arrived from Asian countries compared to October last year. The room occupancy rate remained unchanged in monthly terms at 46%, while the average cost of a guest night stood at EUR38, unchanged from October last year. Looking ahead, we expect that the number of accommodated tourists is likely to see its growth decelerate again in November, due to a base effect of last year, when the number of tourists registered a sharp increase.