People are travelling more, domestic trips have become more expensive

Posted on 29 March 2022, 8:00

In 2021, Estonian residents made 575,000 outbound overnight trips, which is 3% more than the year before. The number of overnight domestic trips was nearly 2.3 million – this is 6% more than in 2020. Last year, the expenditures on outbound trips amounted to over 495 million euros and the expenditures on domestic trips to more than 402 million euros.

With the increase in the number of trips, the total expenditures on trips grew by 98 million euros. However, compared to the pre-pandemic year 2019, Estonian residents spent nearly 980 million euros less on travelling.

Epp Remmelg, analyst at Statistics Estonia, said that travelling increased at the end of the second quarter of 2021, but outbound trips made last year still totalled only a third of the number of outbound trips made in 2019. “The number of outbound overnight trips grew the most in the fourth quarter – by four and a half times compared to the fourth quarter of 2020,” noted Remmelg.

Number of domestic and outbound overnight trips of Estonian residents, 2018–2021

Covid-related restrictions imposed by countries have had a strong impact on the travel destinations in the last two years. “In 2020, 58% of trips were made to nearby countries, while last year the number of trips to nearby countries fell due to strict restrictions. Trips to nearby countries accounted for just 42% of all trips,” said Remmelg.

Of the outbound trips, 58% were holiday trips, 16% were trips made to visit friends and relatives, and 24% were business trips. The average duration of outbound trips was eight nights. “The restrictions caused a decrease in the number of short trips. If people travelled, they tended to take a longer trip. The average duration was the longest for trips made to Russia (12 nights) and the shortest for trips made to Latvia and Lithuania (2 nights),” added Remmelg.

The average expenditure on outbound overnight trips was 862 euros per person, and the average expenditure on domestic overnight trips was 177 euros per person. Compared to 2020, the average cost of overnight domestic trips increased more than the average cost of outbound overnight trips. The average cost of domestic holiday trips was 213 euros.

Average cost of overnight domestic trips by purpose of trip, 2017–2021

Remmelg noted that the purposes of domestic trips have changed over time. “Five years ago, the main purpose of these trips was to visit friends and relatives, whereas now the primary purpose is holidays and recreation,” said Remmelg. The number of domestic holiday trips grew by 156,000 and totalled 1.4 million, which is more or less the same as in 2017.

Pärnu county remains the most popular destination for overnight trips, with 357,000 trips made there in a year. There were also over 300,000 trips made to Tartu county. “Compared to 2019 before the pandemic, there were about two times fewer trips made to Harju county and Tallinn. This can be explained by the significant fall in the number of business trips and by the restrictions on access to cultural and entertainment establishments,” said Remmelg.

Saare county has had the smallest decrease in the number of domestic tourists. Last year, Saaremaa, the largest island in Estonia, was visited by nearly 241,000 Estonian residents, which is only 10% less than in 2019.

The higher share of holiday trips has led to an increase in the share of nights spent in paid accommodation in recent years. In 2017, domestic tourists used rented accommodation for just a third of trips, whereas in 2021 this share was almost equal to the share of nights spent in non-rented accommodation.

More detailed data have been published in the statistical database.


For further information:

Kadri Kütt
Media Relations Manager

Marketing and Dissemination Department
Statistics Estonia
Tel +372 625 9181

Photo: Shutterstock

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