Tourism exports will not reach the pre-pandemic period for a while
Tourism exports will not reach the pre-pandemic period for a while, and domestic tourism will not replace the missing foreigners
Key tourist groups: Russians and Chinese have been absent since 2020. First, travel restrictions prevented travel to Finland, and then the war in Ukraine started by Russia closed Finland's border for Russian tourists. In China, the corona restrictions, that have lasted longer than in the rest of the world, have partly slowed down the return of the Chinese tourists. In addition, Russia's overflight ban increases travel costs from China to Europe.
While still in 2019, Russians made 3.4 million trips and Chinese made more than 400,000 trips to Finland, the number of trips made by Russians in 2022 dropped to about 10 percent and the number of trips made by Chinese to about six percent of the 2019 level.
All in all, foreign tourists made more than 4.1 million trips to Finland in 2022, compared to almost 9 million trips in 2019.
Foreign tourists spent around 1.7 billion euros in Finland in 2022, while in 2019 they spent around 2.9 billion euros.
Domestic tourism has not succeeded, despite the growth caused by the corona pandemic, to fill the gap in tourism income left by foreign tourists. Looking at the number of tourists who arrived at accommodation establishments, there were fewer guests in both registered and non-registered accommodation in 2022 than in 2019.
Finns made 45 million domestic trips and spent 8.6 billion euros in Finland
In 2022, Finns made around 45 million domestic trips outside their own place of residence. About 40 percent of the trips were day visits. Finns spent 8.6 billion euros in money when traveling domestically.
Although domestic tourists bring most of the tourism income, considering the Finnish tourism industry, it is not easy to replace the decrease in the number of foreign tourists with the help of domestic tourists. About 40 percent of domestic tourists are day visitors, and more than 40 percent of the consumption of day visitors is shopping. The purchases of day visitors do not necessarily increase the total consumption but are at least partially a transfer of money consumption from one location to another. On the other hand, day visitors spend only a quarter of what tourists who stayed in paid accommodation spend at their destination.
Even if it is assumed that all consumption on domestic trips is additional consumption, i.e. money is spent only because of the trip, the number of domestic trips would have to increase by almost a fifth in order to be able to compensate for the decrease in the number of foreign tourists at the level of the entire country.
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE RESEARCH
The results are based on two studies conducted by TAK Research: TAK Border study (carried out by TAK Research since 1997) and from the Domestic Tourism study launched in June 2020. In 2022, 7,197 interviews were conducted at Finland's external border stations in the TAK Border Survey, and 12,062 Finnish panelists responded to the Domestic Tourism Survey.
Regional results are available from the study for the capital region, Porvoo, Tampere and Turku region, as well as Central Finland and Kymenlaakso.
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