Every tenth tourist that stayed at hotels in Tallinn, Estonia, this year was a military from the NATO countries. Felix Mägus, deputy head of the Estonian Union of Hostels and Restaurants, says the NATO militaries accounted for 10% of total tourists (up to 350 people) that visited Tallinn in the first eight months of 2015, according to Baltnews.
Representatives of the Estonian Union of Hostels and Restaurants say the situation is threatening. Mägus says the militaries that flooded the local hotels frighten tourists. In his words, the “ordinary tourists consider militaries as a potential threat.”
As a result, the hotels are filled as much as in 2014 with no upward trend. “All this is because of the military guests. Ordinary tourists have disappeared,” Mägus says. He hopes the number of the NATO officers in the city will reduce after the construction of barracks in the military town Tapa and at Ämari Air Base is completed.
Meantime, the ruling politicians in Estonia do not show any concern over the situation. Quite the contrary, they say that the militaries staying at the Tallinn hotels provide security to the citizens.
Chairman of the National Defense Committee of the Parliament of Estonia Marko Mihkelson told Postimees that the presence of allies is a guarantee of Estonia’s security and their placement at local hotels should not bother anyone.
EADaily reported earlier that U.S.-made armored vehicles were supplied to Estonia by rail last weekend. Earlier the press office of Estonia’s Defense Ministry said forty units of armored vehicles, including four M1A2 Abrams tanks, ten M2A3 Bradley armored vehicles, and 3 Paladin artillery systems will be supplied to the country from the United States. Two combat engineer vehicles and maintenance equipment will be delivered next week. Tanks and self-propelled artillery systems are for the officers from the 3rd Infantry Division of the United States that will replace the American soldiers in Estonia on a rotating basis.