The number of outbound trips grew twice as much as the number of trips within Estonia

Posted on 27 March 2024, 8:00

In 2023, the number of outbound and domestic trips increased respectively by 40% and 20% compared with the year before. The main destinations of choice were Finland, Latvia, Italy and Turkey.

Sigrid Saagpakk, analyst at Statistics Estonia, said that Estonian residents mainly travel for holidays. “Last year, there were nearly 1.7 million domestic and 980,000 outbound holiday trips. Of the 3.2 million overnight domestic trips, close to 30% (980,000) were visits to friends or relatives,” the analyst explained, adding that a total of 360,000 overnight domestic business trips were made in 2023. Nearly 13% (193,300) of the 1.5 million outbound overnight trips were to visit friends, while 19% (286,100) were business trips.

Neighbouring countries remain popular destinations

While as many as 90% of domestic trips are short, lasting between 1 and 3 nights, only 40% of outbound trips are of a short duration. 34% last between 4 and 7 nights and 20% are over 7 nights.

Duration of outbound trips, 2018–2023

“For years, the most popular domestic destinations have been Harju, Pärnu and Tartu counties, followed by Ida-Viru and Saare county. The most visited foreign countries are our neighbours Finland (193,900 trips) and Latvia (184,000). The next most popular foreign destinations were Italy (100,400) and Turkey (77,600),” the analyst said. The number of trips to Russia has decreased almost fourfold compared with 2019.

The main type of accommodation used for outbound trips is hotels and similar establishments (4.9 million nights). When travelling within Estonia, in addition to the popular rented accommodation options (3.1 million nights), non-rented accommodation is also used. “For instance, a total of 2.8 million nights were spent at the place of acquaintances or relatives in 2023,” Saagpakk specified.

Spending on business travel is on the rise

On average, an Estonian traveller spends €179 on a domestic trip. “Compared with 2021 and 2022, the amount has remained quite similar. The biggest increase in spending on domestic trips occurred after 2019 when the average expenditure was around €130,” Saagpakk noted, adding that €220 per person were spent on domestic holiday trips in 2023, while the expenditure of business trips at that time was around €185.

On outbound trips, on the other hand, the expenditure per person is €1,080. “The largest rise in total expenditure was seen after 2021 when the average amount per person stood at €860. Transport (36%) and accommodation (30%) account for the bulk of the costs,” the analyst pointed out.

Expenditure on outbound overnight trips per person per trip, 2018–2023

In previous years, average expenditure has been highest on holiday trips. In 2023, however, the average cost of a business trip was €1,280 per person, while the figure was €100 lower for holiday trips.

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

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, as well as to assess the situation of the tourism sector and address its challenges. The survey samples 2,500 people each quarter.

More detailed data have been published in the statistical database.

When using Statistics Estonia’s data and graphs, please indicate the source.


For further information:

Kai Kaljumäe
Communications Partner
Marketing and Dissemination Department
Statistics Estonia
Tel +372 625 9184
press [at] (press[at]stat[dot]ee)

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