Towards a classification of transboundary tourist and recreation mesoregions in the Baltic region
In the wake of the Covid-10 pandemic, the Baltic region saw a dramatic reduction in tourist flows in 2000—2021; the decrease was as much as tenfold in some destinations. This study aims to classify the 16 transboundary tourist and recreational mesoregions of the Baltic region according to 2019 tourist flows. The research evaluates, for the first time, the 2020—2021 decline in tourist flows across these regions. The main outcome of this study is grouping the mesoregions into three orders according to the size of 2019 tourist flows. Four mesoregions were assigned to the first order (with over 500,000 arrivals), three of them located in the southwest Baltic region; nine, the second order (from 100,000 to 500,000 arrivals); three, the third order (from 50,000 to 100,000 arrivals). The most substantial fall in tourist flows occurred in 2020—2021 in the mesoregins including Sweden and Russia and the least marked in those involving Denmark, Germany, Finland, Estonia and Latvia. The findings may help track the future restoration of transboundary tourist flows in the countries of the Baltic region.
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