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Tourism in the Nordic countries is recovering from the pandemic

Updated: Jan 9

Year 2021 was better for tourism in the Nordics than the year 2020. The number of registered bed nights increased in all Nordic countries in 2021 compared to previous year.


Even though tourism improved from the first year of the pandemic in the Nordic countries, the level of 2019 was not yet reached. In Iceland the number of bed nights was 39 per cent lower in 2021 than in 2019 while in Denmark the number of bed nights was only 8 per cent lower in 2021 than in 2019.


Iceland, Sweden and Denmark managed to attract more foreign tourists in 2021 than in 2020. Norway reached the gap between 2020 and 2021 during the last two months and gathered the same amount of foreign bed nights as the year earlier. Finland had less foreign bed nights than previous year, which is mainly due to the lack of Russian tourists and the fact that the foreign season in Finland focused heavily on December-February alongside July-August. There were up to 92 per cent less foreign bed nights in December-February 2021 than the year earlier. Nevertheless, the amount of foreign bed nights in Finland nearly doubled during November-December 2021. The amount of British tourists increased from 40 000 (in January-October 2021) to 260 000 by the end of the year. Read more about tourism in Finland here



The largest share of foreign bed nights was recorded in Iceland (60 %) in 2021. The last two months changed the course of foreign tourism in Denmark and Norway as in the end, both countries recorded more foreign bed nights than year earlier. Get familiar with tourism in Norway here



During January-March 2021, the loss in foreign bed nights was smallest in Sweden, when there were 70 per cent fewer foreign bed nights recorded in comparison to previous year. Meanwhile, the change was greatest In Iceland, when there were up to 96 per cent fewer foreign bed nights compared to previous year.


In Iceland, foreign bed nights increased more than tenfold in September-December 2021 compared to previous year.


During summer (July-August) 2021, foreign bed nights increased the most in Sweden (152 %) and the least in Denmark (0 %). In Sweden the number of foreign bed nights increased as much in July-August as in November-December. Read more about tourism in Sweden here



The largest share of domestic bed nights was in Finland (88%) in 2021. The change in domestic bed nights was highest in Iceland and lowest in Sweden compared to previous year.


Explore monthly bed nights in Finland, Sweden and Norway here.




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