Tourism

Every year, approximately three million foreign tourists (with accommodation) and over three million one day visitors travel to Estonia. In 2014, they spent 1.39 billion euros on our tourism services.
 

Tourism plays an important role in Estonia’s economic development, forming – together with indirect impact – approximately 7% of Estonia’s gross domestic product and even 27% of exports.

The number of foreign tourists visiting Estonia was bigger than ever before in 2014 and in total, foreign tourists spent more than 3.9 million nights in Estonian accommodation establishments, which shows that awareness of Estonia as a tourism destination is steadily increasing and its reputation is improving.

The main aim of Estonian tourism policy is to increase the international competitiveness of Estonian tourism and to ensure sustainable economic growth by developing tourism services and the export of tourism services.

For that purpose, the tourism sector undertakings will have to:

  • Increase the awareness of Estonia as a travel destination.
  • Diversify the choice of tourism products and services and improve their quality.
  • Increase the awareness of tourism undertakings of the opportunities for introducing new business models and product design.
  • Ensure the availability of profound and interesting tourism information all along the visitor’s route.
  • Improve the transport connections that are important for tourism.
  • Develop regional tourism products.

Tourism development will also support the achievement of the goals set out in the Estonia 2020 competitiveness programme, by increasing Estonian exports, employment, decreasing unemployment among young people and contributing to the establishment of international transport connections. The entity responsible for the implementation of tourism policy is Enterprise Estonia.

Areas

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications pays most attention to the following tourism development efforts:

Introducing Estonia

It is important to increase the awareness of Estonia as a travel destination, above all, in European markets, to ensure the international competitiveness of Estonian tourism.
Further information »

Accommodation services

Every year, approximately three million tourists make use of accommodation services. They spend their nights in our approximately 1,600 accommodation enterprises, offering more than 40,000 beds – mostly in Tallinn.
Further information »

Travel business

Approximately 400 travel operators, about a half of them being tour operators and the rest – travel agencies that are mediating package tours by other enterprises – currently operate in Estonia.
Further information » 

 

Product development

We will develop tourism products, tourism attractions of international interest and regional tourism destinations to increase the attractiveness of Estonia.
Further information »

Tourism information system

Tourism information system will offer well organised/structured, customer friendly and high quality tourism information to Estonian tourists, foreign visitors and entrepreneurs. 
Further information »

 

 

National Tourism Development Plan 2014–2020

 

Until 2020, the state will invest approximately 123 million euros into tourism development, with the purpose of increasing tourism sector by approximately a third.

The main strategic goals of the plan are the following: increasing the awareness of Estonia as a travel destination; tourism product development, development of tourism attractions of international interest and regional tourism destinations.

Within the framework of the previous development programme, approximately 200 million euros were channelled into tourism development in 2007–2013. Several tourism attractions have been established or given a makeover, such as the Marine Museum, Tallinn TV Tower, the Road Museum, AHHAA Centre in Tartu, etc.

The measures to be implemented within the framework of the development plan are funded from the Structural Funds of the European Union and the state budget of the Republic of Estonia.

 

The European Union tourism policy

 

The European Commission has endorsed a new tourism operational programme to promote the competitiveness of tourism in the European Union, known as Europe as the Best Preferred Tourist Destination.

The European Union tourism policy focuses on four goals:

  • Promotion of competitiveness of European tourism sector.

  • Promotion of the development of sustainable, responsible and high-quality tourism.

  • Improving the reputation and visibility of Europe as a set of sustainable and high-quality tourism destinations.

  • More efficient use of the European Union fiscal policy and instruments to develop tourism.

 

Last updated: 2 April 2015