1 in 10 Estonians came to Latvia for booze last year

A new survey of Estonians' travel habits says 1 in 10 of the country's population has taken a trip to Latvia specifically to stock up on alcoholic drinks, reports Estonian public media ERR News

39 percent of Estonia's residents have bought alcohol across the border, or asked someone to bring back cheap booze for them. 10 percent have undertaken a trip specifically to buy alcoholic drinks in Latvia, the survey shows.

Respondents in the south, closer to the shops in Latvia, are more likely to go on such trips, with 43 percent of respondents in the area saying that they would consider doing it.

Nationwide, 10 percent of respondents said they traveled specifically to buy cheap drinks. This is significantly higher in west and south Estonia, at 29 percent.

According to the survey, over the last 12 months altogether 39 percent of Estonian residents bought cheap booze on the other side of the border. This includes those who specifically traveled to go shopping as well as those who asked someone to bring back supplies for them.

The survey was commissioned by the Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs and carried out by Turu-uuringute AS.

As previously reported by LSM, duty on alcoholic beverages is considerably higher in Estonia than Latvia. This has led to a situation in which high-volume, low-cost booze warehouses have sprouted close to the border allowing visitors from the north to stock up. While the large retail outlets may not be pretty, they do bring millions of euros into the Latvian economy and provide jobs in areas well away from Rīga.

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