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Finland new go-to destination in Northern Europe

Finland’s capital Helsinki and Finnish Lapland are still the most popular destinations, although visitors are increasingly exploring the whole country.Visit Finland / Harri Tarvainen

Finland is attracting visitors in their droves, with international tourism to the country breaking records in 2017.

Overnights stays in Finland by foreign visitors grew by 813 000 in 2017 to a record 6.6 million, reflecting the growing interest in Finland’s vast nature that offers genuine experiences in a time of global urbanisation.

Finland’s growth was also exceptional compared to its Nordic neighbours Sweden, Norway and Denmark, who all experienced growth below five per cent last year, although the countries are still ahead of Finland in terms of absolute visitor numbers.

“The unprecedented media attention attracted by Finland’s year of centenary celebrations and top positions in listings of the most world’s interesting destinations, have drawn attention to Finland,” explains Paavo Virkkunen, head of Visit Finland. “We anticipated brisk growth but this was more than we dared hope for.”

More than half of overnight visitors still come from Europe (52 per cent from within the EU). Visitors from Asia are rapidly growing in number, with a 21 per cent increase from 2016 making up 16 per cent of the overall total.

There are four areas of particular interest to visitors, the most popular being the Greater Helsinki region with 13 per cent growth in overnight stays last year, and Lapland with 22 per cent growth.

Finnish Lakeland is increasingly being explored as well, where overnight stays grew by 12 per cent, while the coastal areas and archipelago enjoyed an eight per cent rise.


Visit Finland and Good News from Finland are part of Business Finland.

Published on 15.02.2018