The Estonia Convention Bureau (Estonian CVB) has said international sporting title events hosted in Estonia have been bringing in tens of thousands of visitors from abroad, with participants, press and spectators filling hotel rooms that would have otherwise been left vacant.
The capital Tallinn alone has around 80 international sports events marked on the calendar for 2021 including the Men’s European Volleyball Championships and the Tallinn Marathon, both in September.
Riine Tiigi, marketing manager of the Estonian CVB, said: “Since our organisation started activity in 2008, we’ve been keeping records of international conferences and events held in Estonia on our website’s Conference Calendar. I don’t remember any other year when we have had so many major international sporting title competitions taking place”.
WRC Rally Estonia organiser, Tarmo Hõbe, noted: “Worldwide live broadcasts were produced from all 24 speed trials reaching up to 740 million people through TV and social media coverage. The economic impact, going by even the most conservative estimates, was over €5m.”
The ECB has said that the Estonian government’s approach of supporting the events industry by permitting highly controlled events, rather than cancelling them outright, deserves credit for allowing the hotels’ sports-related boost to happen.
Evelin Tsirk, head of Visit Tallinn, concluded: “Both the international professional associations involved in the events and the athletes have assessed the high level of organisation and the measures taken to prevent the virus. The high quality of event organisation will certainly continue to encourage bringing top-level events to Tallinn.”
Photo: Rally Estonia@world André Lavadinho