Despite the abolition of covid restrictions by the Russian authorities on July 15, the number of our compatriots wishing to travel to Estonia did not increase significantly over the week. Such data was issued by the Estonian Statistics Office and was surprised by the current figures. Although the drop in the tourist flow should not surprise the Estonian side: the local authorities stopped issuing new tourist visas to Russians some time ago, so those who had previously issued permits in their hands go.
According to the border checkpoint in Narva, only about 500 Russian tourists arrived at the border last weekend. According to the director of the border crossing point in Narva, Marek Liiv, before the restrictions were lifted, only about 150 people arrived among Russian citizens during the same period, while before the pandemic and the events in Ukraine, 2 million Russians crossed the border in six months. Unlike the pre-Covid period, the current tourist flow is very modest.
“The number of tourists has only doubled this weekend. 280 people crossed the border for tourism purposes. Compared to the period before the coronavirus pandemic, we are surprised by the modest results, ”local publications quoted him as saying. The border crossing spokesman added that now only about 10,000 Russians cross the border every month. Since Estonia is no longer issuing new tourist visas to Russian residents, Russian holidaymakers are currently using pre-issued visas that are still legal to travel to Estonia.
In total, Estonia received almost 236,000 tourists in April, which 300 percent more compared to the same period in 2021. Data provided by the same Statistics Office of the country showed that domestic tourism also increased over the same period: 105,000 foreign tourists and 130,000 domestic.
Estonia's latest statistics also show that in May 2022, the country's accommodation facilities served around 249,000 tourists, which is 176 percent more than in May last year. Commenting on the data, Helga Laurmaa, an analyst at Statistics Estonia, said that the Baltic country has already accommodated about 117,000 foreign and 132,000 domestic holidaymakers.
Why do Russians go to Estonia?
< p>Russian tourists travel to get acquainted with the culture, relax and enjoy traveling around the country of the post-Soviet space. “We like to travel, see different countries and get to know different cultures. Tomorrow we are going to the Rammstein concert in Tallinn – now we can do it easily. We love Estonia; we are tourists, and we will start walking, enjoying European views and food,” two tourists from St. Petersburg told one of the Estonian newspapers. In addition, many of our compatriots go on shopping tours to buy something that is hard to find in Russia.
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