Saturday 9/18/21

Second summer without foreign tourists in Finland

Many tourist businesses survive thanks to Finns from the capital area who, due to difficulties in traveling abroad, prefer to spend their holidays in other Finnish provinces
29 July 2021, United Kingdom, London: A general view of "Come Fly Again" signage at London's Heathrow Airport during a celebration for the safe reopening of international travel and its 75th anniversary. Photo: David Parry/PA Wire/dpa
A view of 'Come Fly Again' signage at London's airport during a celebration for the safe reopening of international travel. Photo: David Parry/dpa.

Foreign tourists have almost disappeared in Finland since the coronavirus pandemic broke out. The overnight stays of national tourists in Finnish accommodation establishments are gradually recovering and outside Helsinki they have already reached pre-pandemic levels, but this is not the case of external demand.

Not even the entry into force of the Covid-19 passport of the European Union has encouraged foreigners to visit the Nordic country. Despite being among the least affected countries by the virus, Finland has stood out for its especially restrictive policies on travel.

Currently, statistics show that Finnish tourist establishments outside the capital region resist thanks to the people from Helsinki and its surroundings who travel to other regions of the country. Meanwhile, tourist companies in the Uusimaa area - more dependent on foreign markets - are enduring a hard time and many still remain closed.

According to Statistics Finland's data, Finnish accommodation establishments recorded in June 1.63 million overnight stays, which was 25% less than in June 2019, before the pandemic started. Nights spent by resident tourists increased outside Greater Helsinki by 3% but in the capital area they decreased by 32% compared to the previous year.

In other words, the demand is sustained by Finns from the capital area who, given the difficulties in traveling abroad, prefer to spend their holidays in other Finnish provinces.

Meanwhile, overnight stays by foreign tourists decreased by 87% compared to June 2019.

Screenshot 2021-07-30 at 09-44-46 Statistics Finland - Accommodation statistics

Source: Statistics Finland.

Leisure trips

For leisure trips, overnight stays by resident tourists increased by 5% from June 2019, while nights spent by resident business travelers decreased by 24%.

Overnight stays by non-resident leisure travelers were 92% less than two years ago and 78% less by non-resident business travelers.

Examined by region, overnight stays decreased compared to June 2019 most in relative terms in the Helsinki region (Uusimaa), by 58%. However, overnight stays in Uusimaa doubled from June 2020, the first summer in pandemic. Compared to June 2020, overnight stays increased in all regions.

In January to June 2021, a total of 5.79 million nights were spent in Finnish accommodation establishments. This was 5.6% less than in the corresponding period one year earlier. In all, 5.43 million overnight stays were recorded for resident tourists and 0.36 million for foreigners.

The number of nights spent by resident tourists increased by 21.9% and nights spent by foreign visitors declined by 78.7% from the previous year.