Statistical analysis of tourism flows between Ukraine and the Baltic Sea Region countries in 2012—2019
This article explores the features and trends in inbound and outbound tourism flows between Ukraine and the Baltic Sea region (BSR) countries in 2012—2019. The research question is whether inbound our outbound tourism prevailed and how visa-free travel to the Schengen Area affected the number of Ukrainians travelling to the Baltic Sea Region. Two data sources were used in the study. These are the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum and data from the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine on the number of foreign citizens visiting Ukraine and the number of Ukrainians travelling abroad. The study employs the statistical methods of structural shifts analysis, time series analysis, and graphical visualisation. The findings indicate that Ukrainian outbound tourism was growing steadily over the study period, whilst visa-free travel to the Schengen Area had no statistically significant impact on the number of outbound tourists from Ukraine to the BSR. Outbound tourism flow prevailed over inbound. The number of inbound tourists to Ukraine sharply declined after 2013 because of the socio-political situation in the country. The analysis reveals significant changes in inbound and outbound tourism flow structures. The COVID-19 pandemic is shown to be a critical factor influencing the current state and prospects of the tourism industry.