August was not a bad month for the tourism sector in Finland, which is on its way to closing the year with an increase in the number of visitors and stays. In a market of products and services still small and oriented mainly towards domestic demand, both foreign and national tourism rowed in the same direction, as the latest figures in the sector show.
According to the data published on Thursday by Statistics Finland, in August overnight stays by foreign tourists increased by 4% and 0.78 million were recorded. More and more foreign tourists are coming to Finland, especially from Russia and Germany, although not all destinations benefit from it.
The number of overnight stays achieved in August by international tourists represents only a third of the total 2.4 million recorded last month by Finnish accommodation establishments (3.6% more than one year before). This means there were other 1.62 million nights spent by resident travelers, on whom most touristic business continue to base their offer of products and services.
Russians, the most loyal customers
Among the most important countries of inbound tourism to Finland, in August overnight stays by Russians increased most in absolute numbers, by 7,700 nights. This was 8% higher than in the year before. The biggest drop was seen in overnight stays by Swedes, down by 900 nights. Their overnight stays were 1% down.
Source: Statistics Finland
The biggest group of non-resident tourists were Russians with 99,800 overnight stays. The second largest group was Germans with 89,800 overnight stays. The third largest group was Swedes with 73,700 overnight stays, and fourth were Chinese with 49,300 overnight stays.
The fifth largest group was tourists from the United States (36,500 nights), sixth was Italian visitors (35,500 nights), seventh British tourists (35,500 nights) and eighth Japanese visitors (30,000 nights).
More visitors to Helsinki, less to Lapland
Accommodation establishments in Uusimaa (Helsinki and surroundings) recorded 411,000 overnight stays by non-resident tourists (6.8% more) while accommodation establishments in Lapland recorded 65,000 (4.2% less than one year before).
The share of Uusimaa in all overnight stays by foreign visitors was 52% and that of Lapland just 8%.
Source: Statistics Finland.
Examined by region and in aggregated terms (residents and non-residents), overnight stays increased most in relative terms in Central Ostrobothnia (17%), and second most in South Karelia (12%). By contrast, the overall number of overnight stays decreased most in relative terms in Central Finland (8%) and second most in South Savo (7%).
January to August 2019
In January to August 2019, a total of 16.24 million nights were spent in Finnish accommodation establishments. This was 3.4% higher than in the corresponding period one year earlier.
In all, 11.39 million overnight stays were recorded for resident tourists and 4.85 million for non-resident tourists. The number of nights spent by resident tourists increased by 4.1% and nights spent by non-resident tourists by 1.8% from the previous year.
Among the most important countries of inbound tourism to Finland, overnight stays by Chinese increased most in absolute numbers, by 38,700 nights. This was 17% higher than in the year before. The biggest drop was seen in overnight stays by Britons, down by 9,100 nights. Their overnight stays were 3% down on January to August 2018, partly due to the devaluation of the British pound due to Brexit.
In absolute numbers, the biggest group of non-resident tourists were Russians with 595,000 overnight stays. The second largest group was Germans with 505,000 overnight stays. The third largest group was Swedes with 417,000 overnight stays, and fourth were Britons with 300,000 overnight stays.
The fifth largest group was Chinese tourists (266,000 nights), sixth was French tourists (255,000 nights), seventh visitors from the United States (221,000 nights) and eight was Dutch tourists (204,000 nights).
These figures are preliminary data from Statistics Finland’s statistics on accommodation establishments and they have been collected from accommodation establishments with at least 20 beds or caravan pitches with electricity connection.