Published: 30 June 2011

Finnish travel increased in 2010

In 2010, Finnish residents made nearly four million leisure trips abroad which involved staying overnight in the destination country. The number increased by 11 per cent from 2009. More leisure trips with paid accommodation were also made in Finland than in the year before and their number went up by 13 per cent to around six million. Business trips in Finland and abroad recovered to the 2008 level after the slight downturn in 2009. These data derive from Statistics Finland’s Finnish Travel Survey for which 16,659 people aged 15 to 74 permanently resident in Finland were interviewed.

Figure 1. Finnish travel 2000–2010

Figure 1. Finnish travel 2000–2010

Trips abroad

In 2010, leisure trips abroad with at least one overnight stay in the destination country numbered 3,974,000. Estonia was clearly the most popular destination. Approximately one trip in five, or a total of 0.9 million trips, were headed to Estonia. The second highest number of trips was made to Sweden and the third highest to Spain. In all, 459,000 trips were made to Sweden and 380,000 to Spain. Around one-half of the trips to Spain were headed to the Canary Islands. Trips to Estonia increased by 182,000 from 2009, or by most in terms of absolute numbers. Trips to Sweden, in turn, rose by the second highest number of 81,000. Spain has remained a stable favourite since 2006. Among the top ten destination countries, the popularity of Russia, Germany and the UK also went up. Of the traditional favourite southern holiday destinations of Finnish residents, the popularity of Portugal went up while that of Greece fell. Trips were made to Turkey and Egypt in much the same way as in the previous year.

Altogether around ten per cent fewer leisure trips were made to long-distance destinations in 2010 than in the year before. Trips to Thailand numbered 111,000, and decreased by some eight per cent form 2009. About as many trips were made to the American continent as to Thailand. More than one-half, or 57,000, of them were made to the United States. Tourism to the United States decreased by about one-third from the previous year. The third most popular long-distance destination was Australia with 20,000 trips.

In addition to the leisure trips involving staying overnight in the destination country, Finnish residents made around 1.5 million leisure cruises in 2010. This is 15 per cent more than in 2009. Cruises are trips that only include staying overnight on board; visits can be made ashore but without overnight stays there. The destination of around 70 per cent, or around one million, of the leisure cruises was Sweden. A total of 443,000 leisure cruises were made to Estonia.

During 2010, Finnish residents also made 698,000 same-day leisure trips abroad (incl. same-day cruises). The number of outbound same-day trips fell by some six per cent from the previous year. A total of 480,000 same-day trips were made to Estonia and 140,000 to Sweden.

Figure 2. Finnish residents’ favourite destination countries for leisure trips with overnight stays in 2010 and compared with 2009

Figure 2. Finnish residents’ favourite destination countries for leisure trips with overnight stays in 2010 and compared with 2009

In 2010, business and professional trips abroad involving overnighting in the destination country numbered 1.1 million. The number of business trips abroad grew by 26 per cent from 2009. The highest numbers of business trips abroad with overnight stays were made to Sweden, Germany and Estonia. Business trips to Sweden numbered 200,000 while 143,000 of them were made to Germany and 109,000 to Estonia. Business trips to Sweden increased by one-fifth and those to Estonia by 16 per cent. Business trips to Germany grew 1.5-fold.

Work-related same-day trips made during 2010 numbered 154,000, or one-quarter more than in 2009. As in the previous year, around 100,000 work-related cruises were also made abroad.

Trips in Finland

In 2010, 5.9 million leisure trips were made in Finland during which paid accommodation services, such as hotels, camping sites or rented cottages were used. The number grew by 13 per cent, or by 700,000 trips, from 2009.

The most popular destination regions for the trips involving paid accommodation were Uusimaa, Lapland and Pirkanmaa. Trips to Uusimaa numbered 865,000, or 15 per cent of all trips with paid accommodation. Slightly more than one in ten of the trips were headed to Lapland, and the same proportion to Pirkanmaa.

The number of nights spent during the leisure trips involving paid accommodation totalled 15.7 million. The number grew by six per cent from 2009. One-half of the overnight stays were spent in hotels and one-quarter in rented cottages.

In addition, 5.6 million overnight trips were made in Finland to own free-time residences and 19.1 million overnight visiting trips to relatives or friends. The trips to free-time residences grew by four per cent and the trips to visit relatives or friends by 13 per cent from 2009.

In 2010, clearly the highest number of the trips to free-time residences was made to South Savo and the second highest to Varsinais-Suomi. Such trips numbered 670,000 to South Savo and 0.5 million to Varsinais-Suomi. Of the trips to visit friends or relatives, 3.1 million were headed to Uusimaa and 2.1 million to Prkanmaa.

A total of 3.8 million business trips with overnight stays were made in Finland in 2010. Domestic business trips increased by 10 per cent from 2009.

Persons having travelled

The data on persons having travelled were obtained by an inquiry made in connection with the Labour Force Survey. The inquiry is very concise and in addition to personal background information, it only includes questions on whether the target person has made certain types of trips during the survey year. The data describing 2010 are based on 1,709 interviews. The number of persons having travelled has remained fairly stable from one year to the next.

During 2010, 3.6 million, or 88 per cent, of Finnish residents aged 15 to 74 made at least one trip that included an overnight stay. Included are all domestic and outbound trips, as well as trips to free-time residences, visits to friends and relatives, and business trips.

During 2010, 1.9 million Finnish residents aged 15 to 74 made at least one leisure trip in Finland with paid accommodation. This is 47 per cent of all those belonging to this age group. Nearly as many made at least one leisure trip abroad which involved staying overnight in the destination country.

Slightly more than every fifth Finnish resident aged 15 to 74, or nearly 0.9 million persons, made a business trip in Finland which involved staying overnight or a business trip abroad during which night was spent in the destination country.

Notes to the appendix tables

[..] Data not available or too uncertain for presentation.
[  ] No observations in the survey.

In some tables the sums do not amount to the totals shown because of rounding.

Source: Finnish Travel, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Ritva Tikkanen (09) 1734 3300,

Director in charge: Hannele Orjala

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Tables in databases

Appendix tables

Updated 30.6.2011

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Finnish Travel [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-9027. 2010. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 5.8.2021].
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