1. Trips abroad

1.1. Tourism to Estonia decreased for the second year

In 2019, Finns made 8.1 million leisure trips abroad. The number of trips with overnight stay in the country of destination was 6.2 million. Of them, 4.0 million were trips with at least four nights in the country of destination and 2.2 million were short trips with one to three nights. Cruises with overnight stays on board numbered 1.1 million. The number of day trips abroad was 0.8 million. Of them, around 0.4 million were day cruises to Estonia.

In 2019, a total of 1.8 million leisure trips were made to Estonia, which represented 22 per cent of all leisure trips. The number of leisure trips to Estonia decreased for the second year in a row.Trips were made to Estonia mostly in July, when the number of leisure trips to our southern neighbour rose to 230,000. June and December were also popular months for travelling.

Sweden was the second most popular travel destination for Finns in our neighbouring areas with 1.7 million leisure trips. Trips to Sweden were preferably made in July. March and June were the second most popular months for travelling. In addition to leisure trips, Finns also travel to Sweden to meet relatives and friends. In 2019, these types of trips covered 21 per cent of leisure trips to Sweden.

A change occurred in travel to Russia in 2014, as the number of trips to our eastern neighbour declined considerably. Although travelling has recovered slightly in recent years, the numbers of trips have not, however, reached the level of 2013. In 2019, a total of 0.4 million leisure trips were made to Russia. Of these trips, 32 per cent were trips to meet relatives and friends.

1.2. Travel to Central Europe increased

Finnish residents have travelled to Central Europe usually more and more every year. In 2019, Finnish residents made 1.3 made leisure trips to Eastern and Western Europe, which is more than one year earlier. The trips focused on the old favourite countries, Germany, Great Britain and France.

In total, 1.9 million leisure trips were made to Southern Europe and the eastern Mediterranean countries in 2019.

Spain is a long-time favourite of Finns, and it has been the third most popular destination for leisure trips for years. Despite this, trips to the Canary Islands and Continental Spain decreased from the year before.

Trips to the Canary Islands are mainly taken during the winter season but Continental Spain attracts Finnish travellers throughout the year. For a long time, the numbers of trips made to the Canary Islands and Continental Spain were more or less the same per year, but since 2012, trips to Continental Spain have exceeded those made to the Canary Islands. In 2019, two out of three trips to Spain were made to Continental Spain.

Other popular northern Mediterranean countries were Italy and Greece. Trips to Turkey decreased from the previous year.

The popularity of long-distance travel rose slightly in 2019 and the number of trips to Africa grew. In contrast, the number of trips to Thailand, Finns’ favourite country in Asia, decreased.

1.3. Four out of ten trips abroad are made by boat

Last year, 3.1 million different leisure trips were made abroad by boat. Of all leisure trips abroad, 39 per cent were made on boats. Of the trips made by boat, 99 per cent were made to Estonia or Sweden.

In 2019, Finns made 1.6 million trips with overnight stay in the destination country where a boat was used as the means of travel. Compared with 2013, the number of these trips has remained unchanged from the year before. A total of 1.1 million overnight cruises and 0.5 million day cruises were made. The number of cruises increased from the previous year. The number of trips to Estonia decreased slightly.

Of the leisure trips made to Estonia, 98 per cent were made by boat. Of the leisure trips made to Sweden, 67 per cent were made by boat, 24 per cent by air, and nine per cent by passenger car.

Finns went on overnight cruises most in March and on day cruises in October. When one or several nights were spent in the destination country, the trip was usually made in July.

Nearly every fourth had their own car when travelling to Estonia and every third when going to Sweden. One in ten went to Estonia with a travelling party's bus.

Number of leisure trips abroad made by boat by month in 2019

Number of leisure trips abroad made by boat by month in 2019

1.4. Number of business trips abroad remained on level with the previous year

In 2019, business and professional trips abroad involving overnighting in the destination country numbered 2.0 million. The highest numbers of business trips abroad with overnight stays were made to Sweden, Germany and Estonia. Business trips to Sweden numbered 270,000 while 260,000 of them were made to Germany and 130,000 to Estonia.

During 2019, a total of 250,000 work-related day trips abroad were made.


Source: Finnish Travel, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Taru Tamminen 029 551 2243, Ossi Nurmi 029 551 2984, liikenne.matkailu@stat.fi

Director in charge: Mari Ylä-Jarkko


Updated 11.6.2020

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Finnish Travel [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-9027. 2019, 1. Trips abroad . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 29.9.2020].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/smat/2019/smat_2019_2020-06-11_kat_001_en.html