Tourism, accommodation and catering

Travelling is people’s need and way of communication. The reasons for which people travel have been the same for already thousands of years: religion and work, recreation and holiday. The elements of modern tourism could be observed already in the bathing areas in Old Egypt where the first hotels were established. Near trade roads accommodation and catering establishments were located; the vehicles of that time enabled only slow motion.

Today hundreds of millions people all over the world travel for several reasons. Open travelling in the European Union where all controls in inner borders have been abolished, simplifies and favours travelling. Schengen rules are applied in most of European countries all in all these countries cover an area of over four million square kilometres where more than 400 million people live. The single currency Europe euro also facilitates travelling.

Since 1980, the World Tourism Day is celebrated on 27 September – one day in a year is dedicated to tourism.

In the subject area of tourism and accommodation, Statistics Estonia publishes the data about travelling, accommodation and border crossings of Estonian residents, as well as about travel agencies and tour operators and economic indicators of tourism, and about economic indicators of accommodation and catering.

The aim of publishing the data on the travelling of Estonian residents is to provide information about the travels of the permanent residents of Estonia. The information can be found on the number of domestic and foreign trips, countries of destination and expenditures made in trips.

In the rubric of accommodation the data on accommodation establishments with five and more bed places about the persons accommodated and nights spent by them, as well as on the number of accommodation establishments, rooms and bed places are published every month.

The statistics on border crossings include the persons arriving in Estonia from outside the European Economic Area’s countries and Switzerland since the year 2004.

The statistics on travel agencies and tour operators in 1991–2009 reflected the number of persons visiting Estonia by countries, the number of Estonian residents sent to tours by travel agencies and tour operators, as well as the duration of trips.

The economic indicators of tourism, accommodation and catering include the yearly and quarterly data of companies. The economic indicators of companies registered in the section I of part 55 (accommodation) and 56 (food and beverage service activities) and in section N of part 79 (travel agency and tour operator activities, reservation service and related activities) have been reflected according to the Estonian Classification of Economic Activities (EMTAK 2008).