Sunday 9/27/20

Finnish residents canceled millions of trips due to coronavirus

Altogether 1.4 million trips abroad and 0.8 million domestic trips with paid accommodation, for which reservations had been made before the restrictions set in March, were cancelled or postponed in the April to September period.
Helsinki-Vantaa airport boarding area, half empty in mid-July. Photo: Foreigner.fi.
Helsinki-Vantaa airport boarding area, half empty in mid-July. Photo: Foreigner.fi.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, traveling by Finnish residents halted in spring 2020. 

According to Statistics Finland's preliminary data, Finnsh residents travelled in the first two months of the similarly to previous years. During March the situation changed dramatically and in April Finnish residents' leisure trips stopped due to the Covid-19.

In addition, 1.4 million trips abroad and 0.8 million domestic trips with paid accommodation, for which reservations had been made before the restrictions set in March due to the pandemic, were cancelled or postponed in the April to September period.

The Finnish Travel Survey shows that trips were made in January of the travel year 2020 similarly as in the previous years. In February, school children's winter holidays started and families were still able to go on their expected holiday trips.

However, everything changed in March as in mid-month Finland's Government imposed a state of emergency in the country. Finns were instructed to avoid travelling both in Finland and abroad due to curb the coronavirus spread.

At the end of March, the borders of Uusimaa were closed for good two weeks. Easter also fell on this period, which is normally a busy time for leisure trips. Only around one-half of the usual domestic trips to free-time residences and visits to friends or relatives were made in March to April.

Travel abroad and to domestic hotels and rented cottages slowed down in March and stopped almost completely in April.

Trips reserved before restrictions

In the survey, Finns were also asked about trips for April to September that had been reserved before the restrictions set due to the pandemic in mid-March.

One in four respondents had these foreign travel reservations and they estimated that nearly all of them were either cancelled or postponed to a later date due to the coronavirus situation. Correspondingly, around one in six of the respondents had reservations for domestic trips with paid accommodation, and around 90% of these trips were estimated to have been cancelled or delayed.

Altogether 1.4 million trips abroad and 0.8 million domestic trips with paid accommodation, for which reservations had been made before the restrictions set in March due to the pandemic, were cancelled or postponed in the April to September period for Finnish residents. Around 80% of these trips were scheduled for April to June and only 20% for July to September.

In the first four months of 2020, Finnish residents aged 15 to 84 made 6.9 million trips when all domestic and foreign leisure trips, as well as business and professional trips are included. In the corresponding period of the previous year, the number of trips was 11.8 million.

Altogether, 4.4 million domestic leisure trips with overnight stay were made in the January to April period. Of these, 3.3 million were trips with free accommodation. Trips with overnight stay in paid accommodation numbered 1.1 million.

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