Foreign travel and spending in Finland increase for 2016

April 5, 2017

International travel to Finland increased to a total of 7.7 million visits in 2016. A visitor survey commissioned by Visit Finland, part of Finpro, indicates that international visitors also spent more money, up 5 percent from 2015. Overall, international visitors brought in €3.9 billion in revenue comparable to export.

Visits to Finland from abroad increased by 2 percent in 2016, according to a new visitor survey by Visit Finland. Single-day visits totalled 3.1 million and overnight visits came in at 4.6 million.

“The year 2016 ended particularly well for tourism in Finland. If the trend holds, especially among Russian and Asian visitors, 2017 is set to be an exceptional year for the Finnish travel industry.  Global politics do cause some uncertainty, since relations between world powers can have immediate effects on travel. Travellers react swiftly to changes in exchange rates, as the resurgence of the rouble has once again demonstrated,” says Paavo Virkkunen, Head of Visit Finland at Finpro.

The visitor survey found that international travellers spent a total of €2.5 billion on goods and services, up by €130 million from 2015. Travel revenue comparable to export was estimated to have reached €3.9 billion last year, as the visitors’ travel expenses (€1.4 billion) are included.  This sets travel at 2.5% of the Finnish GDP.

The average traveller spent approximately €320 per visit to Finland, when advance payments (prepaid accommodation, car rentals, admission fees etc.) are included.

Travel from Russia picked up in late 2016

Russian visitors are still the most prominent demographic for Finnish tourism. However, their visits decreased by 4 percent in 2016 compared to the previous year.

“The decline of Russian tourism, which started in 2014, evened out in 2016 and the year ended with growth. The trend holds in 2017, and the number of visas granted for Russian visitors has doubled compared to the previous year. Single-day visits by Russian tourists saw a rise already in 2016,” Virkkunen states.

In terms of spending, the Chinese have started to rival Russian visitors in recent years. They spent a collective €335 million in Finland last year, up by 30 percent from 2015. The number of visits by Chinese travellers also increased to 356,000, up 35 percent from the year before. Of all the nationalities, Chinese visitors spent the most per visit (€940).

Top 10 for total spending, based on country of residence (€m) 

 

 

2016 (€m) Change from 2015 (€m) Change (%)
1. Russia 469 -21.4 -4.4%
2. China 335 +77.3 +30.0%
3. Sweden 172 +16.2 +10.4%
4. Germany 151 +3.6 +2.4 %
5. Estonia 126 -22.6 -15.3%
6. Japan 117 +5.0 +4.5%
7. United Kingdom 116 +24.1 +26.3%
8. France 99 +9.6 +10.8%
9. Spain 84 +22.0 +35.7%
10. United States 80 +5.8 +7.8%

 

Top 10 for visits to Finland in 2016, based on country of residence

Country Number of visits in 2016 Change from 2015 (%) Actual change
       
1. Russia 2,686,500 -3.8% -107,400
2. Estonia 921,500 -1.1% -10,400
3. Sweden 860,600 +6.0% +48,400
4. Germany 404,400 +17.2% +59,200
5. China  356,000 +34.9% +92,000
6. United Kingdom 253,200 +0.8% +1,900
7. Japan 231,400 +17.9% +35,000
8. France 176,000 +12.9% +20,000
9. United States 145,200 +3.4% +4,800
10. Spain 143,800 +26.2% +29,900

 

Top 10 for spending per visit by international travellers to Finland in 2016 

  1. China, €940
  2. Spain, €582
  3. France, €560
  4. United States, €554
  5. Japan, €507
  6. United Kingdom, €457
  7. Germany, €373
  8. Sweden, €200
  9. Russia, €175
  10. Estonia, €136

 

Visit Finland’s visitor survey for 2016 included 19,051 interviews with international visitors at Finnish border stations in 2016. Random sampling gives a margin of error of no more than ±0.7 points for percentages concerning all visitors. The samples used for national results varied in size from 101 to 9046 subjects, resulting in an approximate margin of error of ±1.0–9.7 points. The visitor survey was carried out by TAK Oy.

 

For more information, contact:
Paavo Virkkunen, Executive Vice President, Visit Finland, Finpro, tel. +358 40 766 6355, paavo.virkkunen@finpro.fi
Katarina Wakonen, Research Manager, Visit Finland, Finpro, tel. +358 29 46 95681, katarina.wakonen@finpro.fi
Hetta Huittinen, Communications Manager, Finpro, tel. +358 40 033 9597, hetta.huittinen@finpro.fi

Visit Finland is a national tourism organisation that seeks to promote international travel to Finland through expertise and active engagement. Visit Finland helps businesses and groups develop and market travel services for the international markets. International travellers brought in approximately €3.9 billion in revenue comparable to export in 2016. Visit Finland is part of Finpro Oy. www.visitfinland.fi www.visitfinland.com

Finpro helps Finnish SMEs reach international markets, encourages foreign direct investment in Finland and promotes travel to Finland. Finpro consists of Export Finland, Visit Finland and Invest in Finland. Finpro is a public organisation and part of Team Finland. 240 of Finpro’s experts work at 37 Trade Centres in 31 countries and 6 regional offices in Finland. www.finpro.fi
Finpro – Growth for Finland