Sunday 31.05.2020

Coronavirus restrictions reduce foreign tourist stays by 53%

43% of the hotels having reported data for March said they had already closed before the end of the month.

A hotel in the city of Imatra. Photo: Kosti Keistinen/Pixabay.
A hotel in the city of Imatra. Photo: Kosti Keistinen/Pixabay.

Finland's tourism sector is paying a high cost due to government-imposed travel restrictions to curb the coronavirus epidemic. Especially when it comes to foreign tourism, companies and entrepreneurs have noticed a drastic drop in the number of customers.

According to Statistics Finland's latest figures, overnight stays by foreign tourists at Finnish accommodation establishments declined by 53% in March. In total, 0.27 million nights were spent in Finland by non-resident visitors. As for the domestic market, the drop was less, 43%. In March, Finnish tourists registered 0.72 million nights in accommodation establishments all over the country.

In total, Finnish accommodation establishments recorded 0.99 million overnight stays, which was 46.9% lower than one year before.

43% of the hotels having reported data for March said they had already closed before the end of the month. The closed hotels were open in March for 24 days, on average.

These figures are preliminary data and have been collected from accommodation establishments with at least 20 beds or caravan pitches with electricity connection.

The biggest drop by nationality

The biggest drop in absolute numbers was seen in overnight stays by Russians, down by 37,500 nights. Their overnight stays were 60% down on March 2019.

The biggest group of non-resident tourists were Germans with 35,400 overnight stays. The second largest group was French with 29,300 overnight stays.

The third largest group was Russians with 25,000 overnight stays, and fourth were Dutch tourists with 19,300 overnight stays. The fifth largest group was Britons (16,400 nights), sixth was Swedes (11,800 nights), seventh US tourists (9,800 nights) and eight Estonians (9,300 nights).

Overnight-stays-Finland-foreign-tourists

Source: Statistics Finland.

Uusimaa and Lapland

Overnight stays declined in each region, but the smallest drop in relative terms was in Kainuu, where overnight stays decreased by 31%. By contrast, the overall number of overnight stays declined most in relative terms in Kanta-Häme, by 66% and second most in Åland, by 65.8%.

Accommodation establishments in Uusimaa recorded 81,000 overnight stays by non-resident tourists and accommodation establishments in Lapland 119,000.

Overnight stays by non-resident tourists declined by 59.2% in Uusimaa. In Lapland, overnight stays by non-resident tourists declined by 45.7% from one year ago. The share of Uusimaa in all overnight stays by foreign visitors was 31% and that of Lapland 45%.

Total decline January to March

In January to March 2020, a total of 4.5 million nights were spent in Finnish accommodation establishments. This was 12.5% less than in the corresponding period one year earlier. In all, 2.91 million overnight stays were recorded for resident tourists and 1.59 million for non-resident tourists.

The number of nights spent by resident tourists declined by 11.6% and nights spent by non-resident tourists fell by 14% from the previous year.

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