More than 14,000 Russians entered Estonia through the Narva border town for the New Year’s festivities before the end of the year, according to the borderguard authority, writes Postimees daily.
The authority’s press spokesperson Yelena Filippova said that because of the large number of vehicles in the border checkpoint there were seven lanes opened including two lanes that are normally used for trucks.
Between 60 and 65 buses and about 900 passengers cars were crossing the border every day. Filippova said that normal volumes should be restored on January 8 when the Russian Christmas is over.
Local spas and hotels have been full of Russian tourists. “The situation is great,” said Irene Hauka, sales manager of Narva-Jõesuu Spa. “We started to sell year-end packages already in August and by November were 100% fully booked.” Also Meresuu spa in Narva-Jõesuu was fully booked until January 8.
Hauka added that customer surveys show that Russians who vacationed in Estonia were generally satisfied with their stay. “They had two problems: visa and border crossing queues which is why many of them used buses to come to Estonia instead of passenger cars,” said Hauka.