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Border Interview Survey

Producer: Statistics Finland
Homepage: http://
Main topic: Transport and Tourism
Related topics:
Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): No
European Statistical System (ESS): No


The Border Interview Survey is a project carried out and financed jointly by Statistics Finland and the Finnish Tourist Board and it has been ongoing year-round from 1998. The data are collected at the busiest frontier crossing points in Finland. The survey is particularly targeted at passengers living abroad.

The data of the Border Interview Survey are used by Statistics Finland to produce income data for the tourism balance; by the Finnish Tourist Board to monitor the development of tourism and planning of tourism marketing.

Data content

The main purpose of the Border Interview Survey is to establish how many passengers resident in other countries visit Finland. The survey also aims to find out some basic information about these visitors, such as their country of residence, nationality, main reason for visiting Finland, duration of visit and possible type of accommodation and destination in Finland. The special areas studied with the survey also include visitors’ use of money in Finland and matters related to the planning and implementation of the trip.

Classifications used

The Border Interview Survey uses classifications to determine foreign visitors’ country of residence and primary destination in Finland. The Countries classification contains codes for all the countries of the world based on the international ISO 3166 code system. The destination is specified according to the classification of municipalities.

Data collection methods and data sources

The data are collected by interviewing visitors departing from Finland at all the busiest frontier crossing points: Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, the ports of Helsinki, the port and airport of Turku, the frontier crossing points of Vaalimaa, Nuijamaa and Niirala, the trains to Russia and seasonally the airports of Rovaniemi and Kittilä, the frontier crossing points of Karigasniemi and Tornio and the port of Hanko. From summer 2006 on data will also be collected at the airport of Tampere.

The Border Interview Survey concerns only the mainland of Finland, meaning that the Åland Islands are not included. Professional transport, such as truck or bus drivers on duty, is excluded from the survey. The survey does not include regular, almost daily local traffic for business or other purposes across the borders between Finland and Sweden or Finland and Norway (the corresponding traffic over the land borders against Russia and Estonia is included). The survey numbers do not include passengers arriving in Finland on international cruisers. The data of the Border Interview Survey are not extrapolated to such frontier crossing points were passengers are not interviewed.

The days and times of data collection are selected at random, and the interviewees are chosen from the passenger flows by systematic sampling. Selected sample interviews are additionally carried out.

Updating frequency


Time of completion or release

The release time of the annual publication and statistical release is in June to July. In addition, statistical releases are made concerning the summer season (1 June to 30 September) in each year’s January to February and concerning the winter season (1 November to 30 April) in each year’s August to September.

Time series

The data collection places and the number of interviews in each place are considered constantly as flows of passengers change and new traffic connections open. Changes in data collection places cause some inaccuracy to the time series.

In questions concerning use of money the Border Interview Survey data differ from the tourism balance estimates because the material of the Border Interview Survey does not cover all passenger transport in Finland (see the definition).

The basic definitions have remained the same throughout the data collection period. The definitions are for the most part uniform with Statistics Finland's other tourism statistics. The definitions are mostly in line with international definitions of tourism.


accommodation activities, business trip, consumption, foreign citizens, foreigners, holiday trips, leisure, leisure trips, nationality, non-residents, passenger traffic, tourism, traffic, use of money

Contact information

Last updated 22.12.2015