TALLINN, Dec 20: Hotels in Tallinn are faced with an unusual problem with the two-week mini high season threatening not to take place as Russians are cutting back on travel, Estonian Public broadcasting (ERR) reported Today.
Traditionally, many Russians head to Tallinn and to other parts of Estonia for the New Year's festivities and the Orthodox Christmas at the beginning of January, with hotels capitalizing in, during an otherwise long winter and fall low season.
Russian tourists make up the second largest tourist group after Finns, but are now staying away as the ruble has weakened from 55 rubles per euro to a high of 100 on Tuesday, although it has stabilized around the 70-ruble per euro mark since Wednesday.
Kulli Karing, the president of the Estonian union of tourism companies, said the drop could be as big as 30 percent. Ain Kapp, head of an organization of hotels and restaurants, said he hopes hotels will be 70-80 percent full.
Alis Moll, who specializes in selling real estate to Russians, said the property train has been missed and real estate in Estonia, and in the whole of Europe, is now too expensive as a safe haven for funds. She said the number of Russian buyers has dropped this year. ?Xinhua