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Summer spending by foreign visitors hit EUR 1.3 billion in Finland

The summer months brought 1.6 million foreign visitors to Finland.

Jussi Hellsten / City of Helsinki

Foreign visitors made 1.6 million trips to Finland between June and August, as the tourism sector continues to flourish post-COVID.

The trips featured a total of 18.8 million overnight stays, with the median stay for a holidaymaker – who accounted for roughly four-fifths of the visitors – standing at five days. The total also includes stays in unregistered forms of accommodation, such as holiday homes, the homes of relatives and short-term rentals.

Visitors in Finland spent nearly 1.3 billion euros on accommodation, restaurants, transport, culture and other costs, translating to an average of 801 euros per trip or 63 euros per day.

The statistics reveal that visits during the summer holiday season differ from those made in other times of the year, with summer visitors spending more money and making their bookings earlier than those visiting in spring, for example.

“Summer holiday trips, particularly trips in August, are booked clearly earlier than trips in the spring and autumn. Summer is the main holiday season in Europe, and people want to make bookings for their carefully planned trips in time,” noted Katarina Wakonen, head of research and statistics at Visit Finland, the tourism promotion arm of Business Finland.

The tendency, she added, may also be attributable to the limited availability of high-quality accommodation and the creep-up in prices as the travel dates near.

The visits had a combined carbon footprint of over 735 000 tonnes, equivalent to 462 kilos per trip or 36 kilos per day. The footprint takes into account carbon dioxide emissions from the outbound and return journeys, as well as the food and transport services consumed in Finland.

Foreign visitors spent an average of 801 euros on their summer trip to Finland.

Laura Vanzo / Visit Tampere

Over half (57%) of the visitors travelled to the country by air and 43 per cent by sea, according to the statistics.

Wakonen reminded that information on the carbon footprint of foreign visitors is needed to assess the climate impact of tourism and enable the tourism industry to pursue sustainable growth.

“A critical element of that is assessing the emission impact in the longer term. We are also trying to contribute to the growth of off-season travel and the more even geographical distribution of tourism,” she commented.

The Finnish tourism sector has started to show signs of recovery from COVID-19, despite the continued absence of two of its previously most important visitor groups, the Chinese and Russians. Statistics Finland in July reported that the number of overnight stays by foreign visitors rose by 20 per cent year-on-year in June 2023.

Finnish travellers, meanwhile, have for the past few weeks had the opportunity to be among the first in the world to trial the digital travel credential – a digital passport developed by the European Commission – at Helsinki Airport.

Find Finnish happiness online

One factor perhaps spurring the recent tourism boom in Finland is that, earlier this year, Finland was named the happiest country in the world for the sixth year running. Now people can also share in that happiness without visiting these shores. A free online course offers hands-on tasks that help the participants to test the insights in their own life and develop concrete happiness skills of their own.

By: Aleksi Teivainen