Tourism Sector Sets Modest Expectations for 2012

ERR - Although last year was exceptionally good for the tourism sector, the expectations set for 2012 are humble, said Feliks Mägus, chairman of the Hotel and Restaurant Association. 


Economic and political instabilities around the world have made tour operators and hospitality businesses cautious. "No one in the field is actually planning to launch any large-scale projects and their estimates [for this year] remain modest," Mägus told, adding that the sector is still recovering from the economic downturn.

So far, however, booking figures in accommodation establishments suggest that demand is high among both business travelers and holidaymakers, Mägus said.

In 2011, foreign tourists left 1.2 billion euros in Estonia - an increase of around 130 million euros compared to the year before, according to Enterprise Estonia. The number of incoming visitors rose by nearly 15 percent.

The opening of the St. Petersburg-Tallinn-Stockholm ferry line, simpler border crossing for Russian tourists, extensive campaigns launched by tour operators and cities, Euro 2012 football preliminaries and foreign media coverage of Estonia's positive economic indicators during the Eurozone crisis were just a couple of reasons cited by the Association behind last year’s outstanding figures. 

The European Capital of Culture events in Tallinn last year, however, did little to increase the number of overnight stays in the capital's accommodation establishments, but instead had a more future-oriented effect, Mägus argued.