People are travelling more, but still some way to go to reach pre-pandemic levels

Posted on 29. March 2023 8:00

The results of Statistics Estonia's Tourism Survey of 2022 show that Estonian residents made over a million outbound overnight trips last year, which is 90% more than in 2021. The number of overnight domestic trips was nearly 2.6 million – 16% more than the year before. In 2022, the expenditures on outbound trips amounted to over 1 billion euros and the expenditures on domestic trips to more than 178 million euros.

Sigrid Saagpakk, analyst at Statistics Estonia, said that the number of Estonian residents travelling has increased compared with the previous two years, but the pre-pandemic level has not yet been reached.

“In 2019, there were 1.7 million outbound overnight trips and 3.4 million domestic trips, whereas last year a little more than a million trips abroad and 2.6 million trips within Estonia were made,” said Saagpakk.  

Number of domestic and outbound overnight trips of Estonian residents, 2017–2022

Outbound trips have become shorter, expenditure has increased

The most popular destinations in 2022 were neighbouring Finland and Latvia. Last year, 140,000 trips to Finland were made, 68% more than the year before. Estonian residents visited Latvia 128,100 times, which is 2.5 times more than in 2021.  

Compared with 2021, Estonian residents' expenditure on outbound trips increased 15% on average last year. “Expenditure on transport, accommodation, and food and drink was higher than before. Estonian residents mostly stayed in rented accommodation abroad. Compared with a couple of years ago, the use of non-rented accommodation is nearly half of what is was before the pandemic,” Saagpakk noted.

40% of outbound trips made in 2022 lasted between 1 and 3 nights, while in 2021, the number of longer outbound trips lasting between 4 and 7 nights was higher. “However, there is a trend towards Estonian residents preferring outbound trips of up to seven nights. The share of foreign trips longer than seven nights has remained stable in recent years at between 20% and 30%,” added Saagpakk.

Top countries of destination for outbound overnight trips of Estonian residents, 2022

Domestic business trips are more frequent but more expensive than before

In 2022, the highest number of overnight domestic trips was made for holiday purposes (1.5 million), followed by visits to friends or relatives (767,000). Compared with 2021, the number of domestic business trips increased by 23% (a total of 253,600 trips). Spending on overnight business trips within Estonia was nearly 63% higher in 2022 than the year before.

As in previous years, the most popular domestic destinations were Tallinn, Harju county, Pärnu county, and Tartu county. Compared with 2021, there has been a significant increase in the number of visits to Hiiu county (up 57%) and Ida-Viru county (up 42%).

In 2022, domestic trips by Estonian residents usually lasted between 1 and 3 nights. “For the most part, people stayed in rented accommodation. Comparing the accommodation choices made on trips with those of previous years, we can see that in the past, there has been a greater preference for non-rented accommodation on domestic trips,“ said Saagpakk.

Accommodation options for overnight domestic trips, 2017–2022

Data on the travel habits of Estonian residents have been collected since 2013 with the Tourism Survey commissioned by Eurostat.

The aim of the survey is to collect information on travel by Estonian residents and to obtain objective tourism statistics comparable between European countries. The data are used to analyse trips and to assess the situation of the tourism sector, which in turn allows problems to be identified and actions to be planned. The survey samples 2,500 people each quarter. The results are published quarterly on Statistics Estonia’s website.

More detailed data have been published in the statistical database.

For further information:

Helen Maria Raadik
Media Relations Manager
Marketing and Dissemination Department
Statistics Estonia
Tel +372 625 9181
press [at]

Photo: Shutterstock