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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Friday, 05.06.2020, 12:52

Estonian travel agencies: interest in domestic tourism growing

BC, Tallinn, 21.05.2020.Print version
A kind of enlivening is taking place in the Estonian tourism sector and bigger-than-usual interest can be observed for domestic and nearby tourism, Estonian travel agencies have told BNS, cites LETA.

Age Poder, head of partner relations at Go Travel, said that a certain enlivening has indeed taken place in the sector as travel restrictions are being eased, with people having quietly begun to make travel plans again and the first new bookings registered after two months of cancellations and rebookings.

"We can see a significant growth in interest in traveling in Estonia, therefore we have put our focus for the near term namely on developing domestic tourism within Estonia," Poder said. 

Also Svea Lillepalu, head of product development at Baltic Tours, said the company expects people to be traveling rather within Estonia this year, which means that sales in domestic tourism will grow.   

Board member of Wris Reisiburoo Aili Kagu meanwhile said that domestic travel and travel to nearby countries, such as the other Baltic countries and Finland, is undertaken by residents  mostly on their own and the services of travel agents are used very little if at all.

The same was said by Lillepalu. 

When it comes to international travel, Poder said that for the time being people mostly are interested in travel options in Europe. Speaking of summer destinations, clients are inquiring about Croatia, Greece and Sicily, whereas for the winter also more distant destinations such as Bali, Vietnam, but also Egypt, have been attracting interest.

Poder added that in the choice of the holiday destination it will all eventually boil down to when the borders will be reopened, where the virus has receded, to which destinations planes will be flying and to which destinations there will be seats.

Kagu observed that even though people are dreaming of travel and freedom of movement, restrictions on travel continue and the requirement to spend 14 days in quarantine in no way facilitates travel.

"Starting from today, also all trips supposed to take place in June have been postponed. To the year 2021, in principle," she said. 

Lillepalu said that while inquiries concerning year-end travel and travel in 2021 keep coming in at a quiet pace, clients have relatively low interest in foreign travel this summer. Also many of the clients whose trips have been canceled due to the emergency situation have decided to adjourn their trip to the winter or next summer, she added.

Lillepalu said that foreign travel agents among their clients are already making plans for next season and expect to have their groups come to Estonia in the summer of 2021 again. 

Olev Riisberg, head of marketing and PR at Novatours, said that the company is ready to restart tours at the earliest opportunity.  "If the situation permits, we hopefully can resume tours in July. Trips can be planned to the destinations of the winter season and also for the summer season of 2021 already," Riisberg said. 

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