Travel and tourism in Finland - statistics & facts

Finland is a rapidly growing travel destination in Northern Europe, attracting an increasing number of international visitors. The Nordic country is famous for its pristine nature and distinct regions, extending from the Helsinki capital area to the northernmost point in Lapland. The travel and tourism industry is important for the growth of the Finnish economy, contributing a share of three percent to the GDP. By 2028, the revenue generated by tourism is forecast to exceed 24 billion euros.

Accommodation establishments in Finland recorded over 14.3 million overnight stays in 2020, of which over 12 million were made by domestic and more than two million by international tourists. The number of international tourists in Finland has seen fairly steady growth in the past years, especially in the capital region and in the Finnish Lapland, which appeal to tourists from all over the world. Most non-resident tourists came from the neighboring country Russia, followed by Germany, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and China. All in all, Russian tourists had nearly 258 thousand overnight stays in Finland during the year 2020, while German tourists spent roughly 246 nights that year. In the Nordic comparison, Finland still had the lowest share of overnight stays of foreign tourists in 2020, while Denmark, Sweden, and Norway recorded significantly higher visitor numbers. In recent years, Finns have increasingly opted for domestic holidays, which illustrates emerging trends of local and climate-conscious tourism.

Despite the surge in domestic leisure travel, the Finnish tourism industry has been severely hit by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Finland began to restrict cross-border traffic and closed its borders for unnecessary travel in mid-March, which largely affected both inbound and outbound tourism. In 2020, overnight stays from international tourists in Finland dropped by 68 percent compared to the corresponding period of the previous year. Domestic tourism revived during the summer of 2020, but its volume has not been able to fill the gap left by foreign tourists. Due to COVID-19-related travel restrictions, roughly 1.8 million trips abroad booked by Finnish residents were canceled between April and December 2020. Although more people began traveling during in summer 2020, the vast majority of Finns had no travel plans or they planned to travel in Finland instead of going abroad.

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