Published: 5 November 2020

Finnish residents’ travel centred on home country in summer 2020

According to Statistics Finland's preliminary data, summer tourism in the travel year 2020 focused on domestic tourism, while at the same time the numbers of passengers at airports and ports were only a fraction of the year before due to the coronavirus situation. In May to August, the number of trips abroad by air was 95 per cent lower and that of trips by ship 70 per cent fewer than one year ago. During May to August 2020, Finnish residents made 9.7 million domestic leisure trips with overnight stay and 0.6 million leisure trips abroad, of which 0.4 million were trips with overnight stay in the destination country.

Leisure trips in May to August 2012 to 2020* (excl. domestic same-day trips and trips with free accommodation)

Leisure trips in May to August 2012 to 2020* (excl. domestic same-day trips and trips with free accommodation)

In the second four months of 2020, Finnish residents aged 15 to 84 made 10.8 million trips, when domestic and foreign leisure trips, as well as business and professional trips are included. In addition to trips with overnight stay, the number also includes same-day trips abroad.

In addition, the inquiry concerning trips in April to August asked about trips for April to December that had been reserved before the restrictions set due to the pandemic in mid-March. Under one in five respondents had made such foreign travel reservations and they estimated that around one-half of them were either cancelled or postponed to a later date due to the coronavirus situation.

Correspondingly, around one in eight of the respondents had reservations for domestic trips with paid accommodation, and clearly over one-half of these trips were estimated to be made as planned. Altogether 1.8 million trips abroad and one 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 December period for Finnish residents. Around one-half of the trips cancelled or postponed were scheduled for April to May, 35 per cent for June to August and 15 per cent for September to December.

Altogether 9.7 million domestic leisure trips with overnight stay were made in the May to August period. In all, 7.2 million of them were trips with free accommodation, which is slightly fewer than in May to August last year. Leisure trips with overnight stay at paid accommodation numbered 2.5 million and their most popular destinations were Uusimaa, North Ostrobothnia and Lapland. In the corona summer, travel destinations in Northern Finland attracted more than those in Pirkanmaa and Southwest Finland in Southern Finland. The number of trips with paid accommodation was one fifth lower than in May to August of the previous year.

July was the most popular month for travelling in the summer season, as then 1.1 million domestic trips with paid accommodation and 2.2 million trips with free accommodation were made. Of the trips made in July with paid accommodation, 12 per cent were made to Uusimaa and 11 per cent to Lapland.

In the corona summer, cottage holidays were extremely popular. Overnight stays at both own and rented cottages increased nearly one-and-a-half times compared with the previous year.

By contrast, hotel holidays in Finland were not that popular, as around one third fewer nights were spent at hotels than in the previous summer.

In all, 560,000 leisure trips were made abroad in May to August. The figure includes trips with overnight stay in the destination country, cruises and same-day trips. This is just under one-fifth of the number in the corresponding period of the previous year.

A total of 410,000 leisure trips abroad included overnight stay in the destination country. The number of such trips was for the first time the same in July and August.

Flights were available only limitedly to the majority of European countries. By contrast, shipping companies operated almost normally, so many trips planned to the south in the summer turned into trips to our southern neighbour Estonia. One half of all leisure trips abroad that included overnight stays in the destination country were made to Estonia. Despite this, the number of trips to Estonia was just around one half compared to the previous year.

In addition to leisure trips, half a million domestic business or professional trips were made in Finland. Business trips in Finland dropped by one half from the corresponding period of last year.

These data derive from Statistics Finland's Finnish Travel survey for which data were collected from altogether 5,228 residents aged 15 to 84 on the web or alternatively as a telephone interview in June, July, August and September.


Source: Finnish Travel, Statistics Finland

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

Head of Department in charge: Hannele Orjala

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Updated 3.9.2020

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Finnish Travel [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-9027. Summer (1.5.-31.8) 2020. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 17.5.2021].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/smat/2020/14/smat_2020_14_2020-11-05_tie_001_en.html