Turu-uuringute AS: 97% of Estonians consider RMK’s visitation infrastructure important 19.02

A study by Turu-uuringute AS on the movement of Estonians in nature, conducted in October and November last year, showed that 97% of Estonians consider RMK’s recreation and physical activity infrastructure important and that 64% had utilised it in the year prior to the study. Both indicators have grown considerably when compared with the study conducted in 2012.

This past year was unique in many ways. The travel restrictions imposed due to the corona pandemic and a beautiful Estonian summer brought over 2.9 million visitors to RMK’s visitation infrastructure. The high number of visitors certainly supported conducting the study on the movement of Estonians in nature.

Research Manager at Turu-uuringute AS Vaike Vanu noted that compared with 2012, when 36% of Estonians visited RMK’s sites, the number had grown significantly to 64% by 2020. In the past year, somewhere between 679,000-745,000 people visited properties maintained by RMK.

“12% of Estonians have cemented themselves as regular visitors to RMK’s infrastructure; they visited our sites at least 12 times in the last year. 43% of our visitors discovered a hiking trail that they had never visited before. We were happy to learn that our raising awareness of lesser-known places has directed people to new sights and locations,” says Head of the Visitor Management Department at RMK Marge Rammo.

In the 2012 survey, only 85% of people thought that RMK’s recreation and sports infrastructure was necessary, but in 2020, that number had risen to 97%. The percentage of people who are neutral on the topic of RMK has gone down, while the number of people who find the opportunities for recreation and sports created in public forests important has increased. The number of people with a negative opinion has not changed since 2012.

“These kinds of studies help RMK confirm the information that we collect through visitor monitoring. We take into consideration the opinion of Estonians in order to better manage and develop our visiting infrastructure, which promotes physical activity in RMK’s recreational areas and reserves,” says Rammo on why the study is important for RMK.

Last year, 6.9 million euros were allocated for the activities of the Visitor Management Department at RMK (with 6 million allocated in 2012). This money was used to ensure the upkeep of infrastructure in recreational areas and reserves, maintain landscapes, promote visitation, organise nature awareness events in RMK visitor centres, ensure that objects aimed at visitors were compliant with the measures enacted due to the corona pandemic and direct people’s movements.

The results of the study can be viewed on RMK’s home page. Inspiring hiking trails and recreational areas as well as guidelines on how to visit nature responsibly can be found on the Loodusega Koos mobile app and home page https://loodusegakoos.ee/.

RMK, aka the State Forest Management Centre, manages almost 30% of Estonia and 47% of all Estonian forests. RMK is the keeper, protector and manager of all forests and other diverse nature biomes belonging to the Republic of Estonia. RMK grows forests, maintains the values associated with nature, earns income for the government by managing its forests, creates opportunities for physical activity in nature and spreads knowledge about nature.

Further information:
Vaike Vainu
Turu-uuringute AS Research Manager
+372 5852 9709

Marge Rammo
Head of the Visitor Management Department at RMK
+372 513 7035

Sille Ader
Head of the Communications Department at RMK
+372 5666 5896