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Concepts and definitions

Business trip

The category of business and professional trips comprises all business and professional activities outside the usual environment. The visitor takes the professional trip because of requirements related to his/her occupation or the economic activity of the production unit for which he/she works. This category includes sales to foreign enterprises, attending meetings, conferences or congresses, trade fairs and exhibitions, employer incentive tours, etc. Usually it is the employer who pays the costs for business trip.

In the Finnish Travel survey this category of trips goes under the heading 'Business/conference'.

Country of residence

County of residence is defined as the country where a person has or will have lived continuously for more than 12 months. The person must have a dwelling in the country concerned. A person may have simultaneously more than one country of residence. Among the tourists crossing Finnish borders non-residents are determined according to country of residence and not by nationality.

Leisure trip

Leisure trip refers to the purpose and motive of trip. A leisure trip is a trip made to outside the usual environment for the main purpose of entertainment, holiday, recreation, relaxation, hobby, etc. The costs arising from the trip are usually paid by the person making the trip. In the Border Interview Survey, leisure trips are differentiated from trips made to visit friends or relatives.

Main destination of trip

Main destination of trip in Finland is the destination a non-resident visitor reports as his/her main destination. There may be several main destinations but no more than two of them are recorded. In the Border Interview Survey, main destination of trip is registered at the accuracy of municipality. Main destination can also be a place without overnighting.


Nationality is determined by the country of issue of passport. A person may have several nationalities or no nationality at all. Possession of an alien's passport is also accepted as a nationality.

Overnight stay

Overnights stays are used to measure the length of time a non-resident visitor spends in Finland. One overnight stay is one night spent in Finland irrespective of type of accommodation. Time spent overnight on board a car, boat or other vehicle en route to Finland is not regarded as an overnight stay. If a visitor has spent a night on board a vehicle, such as a train or a camping vehicle, while in Finland it is counted as one overnight stay.

Package tour

Package tours (package travel, package holidays) comprise a number of tourism products which are purchased by the visitor as a single entity. Such packages usually comprise transport and accommodation, but may also include meals, coach tours, car hire, admission tickets to theaters or attractions or any other product of interest to a tourist. There is one single charge for the whole package, which is usually cheaper than the aggregated cost of the items if purchased separately.

Place of residence

Place of residence is the locality where a person has or will have lived continuously for more than 12 months. The person must have a dwelling in the locality concerned. In the Border Interview Survey, place of residence is registered for tourists living in certain countries of residence by using a separate classification of areas of residence.

Reason for trip

The main reason for a trip refers to its purpose or motive. The main reason for a trip could be business, leisure, visiting friends or relatives or a combination of these reasons. The Border Interview Survey examines the main reason for the trip in Finland, not necessarily during the entire trip.

Same-day visitor

Same-day visitor refers to a visitor who does not spend the night in a collective or private accommodation in the place visited. An international same-day visitor is an international visitor who does not spend the night in the country visited. A domestic same-day visitor is a domestic visitor who does not spend the night in the place visited.

A same-day visitor stays less than 24 hours in the place/country visited, the arrival and the departure takes place within the same calendar day. Same-day visitors are also such cruise passengers who spend the night on board a ship and visit the destination place/country without overnighting there. In this case, ship is the place of departure of the same-day visitor.

Tourism expenditure

Tourism expenditure refers to the total consumption expenditure made by a visitor, or on behalf of a visitor for goods and services during his/her trip and stay at the destination place (country). It also includes payments in advance or after the trip for services received during the trip. Payments for domestics or international passenger transport are also included in tourism expenditure (cf. Travel accounts in the Balance of Payments).


A tourist (overnight visitor) is a visitor who stays at least one night in a collective or private accommodation in the place visited. An international tourist is an international visitor who stays at least one night in the country visited. A domestic tourist refers to a domestic visitor who stays at least one night in the place visited.

A visitor who does not spent one night during the trip is called same-day visitor.

Type of accommodation

All types of accommodation used by non-resident visitors who have stayed overnight in Finland are recorded in the Border Interview Survey. The recorded types of accommodation include hotel, camping site, own apartment/cottage or staying with friends or relatives. Type of accommodation is recorded according to the visitor's own reporting.

Usual environment

The usual environment of a person consists of the direct vicinity of his/her home and place of work or study and other places frequently visited (e.g. food shops, bank and other services). The concept of usual environment and, therefore, tourism has two dimensions: frequency and distance. Places which are frequently visited by a person (on a routine basis) are considered as part of the usual environment even though these places may be located at a considerable distance from the place of residence (e.g. weekly visits to one's own holiday home). On the other hand, places located close to the place of residence of a person are also part of the usual environment even if actual spots are rarely visited.


The main unit in the Border Interview Survey is one visit to Finland made by a non-resident of Finland. A visit starts at the border crossing on arrival into Finland and ends at the next border crossing on departure from Finland. A visitor may make several visits to Finland during one trip. As a rule the Survey data concern the specific visit at the end of which the data are collected.


In the Border Interview Survey visitors refer to all non-resident persons who visit Finland and stay in Finland for a time period of less than 12 months. Being specified as a visitor is not dependent on the main reason for the visit to Finland. A person arriving on a visit to Finland for whom Finland is the usual environment, e.g. who has a job in Finland, is also classified as a visitor.

Referencing instructions:

Statistics: Border Interview Survey [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-1722. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 23.2.2024].
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