Foreign Visitors Survey began at border crossing points

Turistid reisisadama B-terminalis. Suurem osa soomlastest saabub siia laevaga.

PHOTO: Toomas Huik

On 1 August, Statistics Estonia launched the Foreign Visitors Survey at the border crossing points of Estonia. The survey will be held until the middle of September and aims to determine the expenditures incurred by foreign visitors in Estonia, their travel motivation and behaviour, and satisfaction.

The survey was commissioned by Enterprise Estonia (EAS), who uses the collected data for providing the tourism sector with relevant input. «In the tourism sector, there is tough competition among countries, which is why the state and entrepreneurs need to guide their activities as precisely as possible. In planning the activities, it is vital to determine tourist satisfaction and the needs which arise during their visit in Estonia. As a result of the survey, both the state and entrepreneurs can plan the funding of the tourism sector better,» explained Tarmo Mutso, Director of Enterprise Estonia’s Tourism Development Centre.

The information gained from the survey is also a significant data source to the Bank of Estonia for calculating Estonia’s tourism receipts. In addition to EAS, the data collected in the survey are necessary for the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications and local governments. For example, based on the survey data, it can be decided which new tourist attractions, roads and border crossing points should be invested in.

«Statistics Estonia organises the survey in co-operation with the Police and Border Guard Board,» said Maiki Ilves, Deputy Head of the Methodology and Analysis Department of Statistics Estonia. «Enterprises engaging in passenger transport have also been very helpful,» she added.

Statistics Estonia’s interviewers interview foreign visitors at the passenger port, airport, bus station and railway station in Tallinn, at the border crossing points in Narva, Koidula and Luhamaa, at the former border crossing point of Ikla, at the bus station and the Ahhaa centre in Tartu, at the former border crossing points in Valga and at the petrol station and car park of the shopping centre in Valga city, also at the bus station in Riga. The interviewers carry an employment certificate, issued by Statistics Estonia and bearing their photograph.

Approximately 10,000 foreign visitors will be interviewed during the survey. The results of the survey will be published in spring 2015.

Statistics Estonia has organised the survey already before (until 2009). A similar survey is also held in several other countries, since the data collected in the survey is practically impossible to receive from any other data sources.