Estonia visits down, but alcohol imports increase

File picture of alcohol in Estonia / Credit: News Now Finland

The number of trips made by Finns to Estonia decline last year by 3%, but the amount of alcohol imported to Finland by travelers is increasing.

That’s according to the latest figures released by The Travel Research Company TAK which show overall, the amount of alcoholic beverages increased by 26% in 2019 compared with the previous year.

In the beer, cider and long drinks category, imports were up almost 40% alone. However, imports of hard spirits fell by 30%; and wine imports fell by 6%.

Industry experts say there’s one clear reason that alcohol imports from Estonia to Finland are on the rise: taxes.

“In particular, imports of [beers, cider and long drinks] have increased, namely in those product groups where Estonia lowered its alcohol tax by 25% in July” says Riikka Pakarinen, CEO of the Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry Panimoliitto.

“The sharp increase in passenger imports is explained by the fact that the alcohol tax in Finland is more than double that in Estonia” she adds.

TAK also talked to a thousand passengers at ferry ports who said the reason they brought more booze back home is because of alcohol taxes in Finland, with one in three people saying cheaper alcohol is the only, or significant, reason for traveling to Estonia.