Published: 23 February 2021

Finnish residents’ travel centred on trips to free-time residences in corona autumn 2020

According to Statistics Finland's preliminary data, tourism in autumn in 2020 focused on Finland as corona kept Europe in its grip. Overnight stays at own free-time residences doubled and the number of overnight stays at rented cottages was also much higher than in the previous year in September to December 2020. Finnish residents made in the autumn a total of 7.3 million domestic leisure trips with overnight stay and 0.3 million leisure trips abroad, of which 0.2 million were trips with overnight stay in the destination country.

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

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

In the third four months of 2020, Finnish residents aged 15 to 84 made 8.4 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.

Altogether, 7.3 million domestic leisure trips with overnight stay were made in the September to December period. In all, 5.4 million of them were trips with free accommodation, which is slightly more than in September to December 2019. Leisure trips with overnight stay in paid accommodation numbered 1.9 million and their most popular destinations were Lapland, North Ostrobothnia and Pirkanmaa. In early winter, travel destinations in Northern Finland attracted more than those in Uusimaa and Southwest Finland in Southern Finland. The number of domestic trips with paid accommodation was unchanged from September to December of the previous year.

October was the most popular month for travelling in Finland in autumn, as then 0.6 million domestic trips with paid accommodation and 1.6 million trips with free accommodation were made. Of the trips made in October with paid accommodation, 16 per cent were made to Lapland.

Leisure trips to free-time residences were still very common after a lively summer. Overnight stays at own free-time residences doubled and the number of overnight stays at rented cottages was also much higher than in the previous year in September to December 2020.

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

In all, 300,000 leisure trips were made abroad in September to December. The figure includes trips with overnight stay in the destination country, cruises and same-day trips. A total of 180,000 leisure trips abroad included overnight stay in the destination country. After a slightly freer summer for leisure trips abroad, travelling outside the borders of Finland stopped almost completely in the autumn. Compared with the corresponding period of the previous year, only good one tenth of the trips in the year before were made in September to December.

In addition to leisure trips, 0.7 million domestic business or professional trips were made. Business trips in Finland dropped by one half from the corresponding period of the previous year.

These data derive from Statistics Finland's Finnish Travel survey for which data were collected from altogether 4,941 persons aged 15 to 84 on the web or alternatively as a telephone interview in October, November and December 2020 and in January 2021.

Preliminary data for the whole of 2020

According to Statistics Finland's preliminary data, Finnish residents made 2.4 million different leisure trips abroad in 2020. Of the trips, 1.8 million were leisure trips with overnight stay in the destination country, 0.3 million cruises with overnight stays on board to neighbouring areas, and 0.3 million same-day trips or same-day cruises to neighbouring areas.

Estonia, Sweden and Spain were the most popular destinations for leisure trips in 2020.

Finnish residents made 23.7 million various leisure trips with overnight stay in Finland. In total, 6.2 million of the trips were trips with paid accommodation and 17.4 million with free accommodation.

The most popular regions were Uusimaa, Southwest Finland, Pirkanmaa and Lapland.

Leisure trips in Finland decreased slightly from the previous year, but the duration of trips lengthened by one day and was 3.9 nights, on average. By contrast, leisure trips abroad came to a sudden end starting from March. Leisure trips abroad decreased by around 70 per cent from 2019.

In all, the data on trips was collected from 15,475 persons aged 15 to 84 permanently resident in Finland. Final annual data will be published on 30 March 2021.


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 23.2.2021

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Finnish Travel [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-9027. Autumn (1.9.-31.12) 2020. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 18.5.2021].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/smat/2020/15/smat_2020_15_2021-02-23_tie_001_en.html