Published: 18 April 2013

Finnish travel abroad increased in 2012

In 2012, Finns made 7.8 million different leisure trips abroad. The number increased by 17 per cent from 2011. The number of domestic leisure trips with paid accommodation also grew compared to the previous year, being nearly 6.4 million. The increase from the year 2011 was ten per cent. Business trips in Finland decreased slightly but the number of business trips abroad continued to grow after the drop in 2009.

Finnish travel 2000–2012

Finnish travel 2000–2012

Trips abroad

In 2012, leisure trips abroad with at least one overnight stay in the destination country numbered 5,836,000. Estonia was again clearly the most popular destination. One trip in four, or a total of nearly 1.5 million trips, were headed to Estonia. The second highest number of trips was made to Sweden and the third highest to Spain. In all, 738,000 trips were made to Sweden and 610,000 to Spain.

In absolute numbers, the trips made to Estonia grew most, by 464,000 trips. In 2012, other neighbouring countries and areas also attracted Finnish tourists, as trips to the Nordic countries, Russia and the Baltic states increased in total by more than one million from 2011.

A total of 1,442,000 trips were made to destinations in Southern Europe, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Canary Islands, with Spain, Italy and Greece being the most popular destinations. A total of 314,000 trips were made to Continental Spain and the Balearic Islands, 296,000 to the Canary Islands, 243,000 to Italy, and 222,000 to Greece. Usually the trips to Southern Europe are long but shorter trips are also made to Italy. Of the trips to Italy, 16 per cent lasted fewer than four nights. The most popular destinations in Eastern and Western Europe were Germany, France and the United Kingdom.

Many trips were also made to long-distance destinations. Fifty-two per cent more trips were made to Asia and Oceania than one year earlier. A total of 146,000 trips were made to Thailand, which is a favourite destination for Finns. The American continent also lured Finns; 74 per cent more trips were taken there than in the year before. Of these, 99,000 were headed to the United States. A total of 89,000 leisure trips were made to Africa.

Finnish residents’ favourite destination countries for leisure trips with overnight stays in 2012 and compared with 2011

Finnish residents’ favourite destination countries for leisure trips with overnight stays in 2012 and compared with 2011

In addition to the leisure trips involving staying overnight in the destination country, Finnish residents made nearly 1.3 leisure cruises in 2012. The number is 21 per cent lower than in 2011. Cruises are trips that only include staying overnight on board; visits can be made ashore but without overnight stays there. Two out of three leisure cruises, or 833,000, were made to Sweden. A total of 413,000 leisure cruises were headed to Estonia.

During 2012, Finnish residents also made 700,000 same-day leisure trips abroad (incl. same-day cruises). The number of same-day trips abroad went down by 13 per cent from the previous year. A total of 428,000 same-day trips were made to Estonia, all by sea and 137,000 same-day trips to Sweden of which by far the most by car.

The number of cruises and same-day trips to Sweden and Estonia decreased from 2011, but correspondingly the number of overnight leisure trips increased considerably. When we include all types of leisure trips made to Sweden and Estonia, their number increased by five per cent for Sweden and by 11 per cent for Estonia. Part of this is caused by a change in the data collection.

In 2012, business and professional trips abroad involving overnighting in the destination country numbered 1.8 million. The number of business trips abroad grew by 48 per cent from 2011. The highest numbers of business trips abroad with overnight stays were made to Sweden, Germany, Estonia and Russia. The number of business trips was 318,000 to Sweden, 239,000 to Germany, 201,000 to Estonia, and 125,000 to Russia. The business trips to Germany more than doubled. The business trips to Sweden increased by 37 per cent and those to Estonia by 34 per cent.

Work-related same-day trips made during 2012 numbered 224,000, or 39 per cent more than in 2011. A total of 115,000 work-related cruises were made abroad, which is 18 per cent fewer than in the year before.

Trips in Finland

In 2012, some 6.4 million leisure trips were made in Finland during which paid accommodation services, such as hotels, camping sites or rented cottages were used at least once. The number was up by ten per cent, or 564,000 trips, from the year before.

The most popular destination regions for the trips involving paid accommodation were Uusimaa, Pirkanmaa, Lapland, North Ostrobothnia and Varsinais-Suomi. The trips to Uusimaa numbered 1,187,000, or 19 per cent of all trips with paid accommodation. Approximately every tenth trip was made to Pirkanmaa, Lapland, North Ostrobothnia and Varsinais-Suomi. These five regions covered nearly 60 per cent of the demand for paid accommodation.

The number of nights spent during leisure trips involving paid accommodation totalled 17.5 million, which was 14 per cent up from 2011. Nearly 60 per cent of overnight stays took place in hotels, holiday villages and camping sites and good one-quarter in rented cottages. Compared with the year before, nights spent in hotels, holiday villages and camping sites decreased by two per cent, whereas nights spent in rented cottages increased by 24 per cent.

In addition, 20.4 million overnight trips were made in Finland to free accommodation, i.e. to own free-time residences or to relatives or friends. The number of these trips decreased by 20 per cent from the year before. Of the trips to free accommodation, 3.4 million were made to Uusimaa, 2.1 million to Pirkanmaa, 1.7 million to Varsinais-Suomi, and 1.6 million to North Ostrobothnia.

A total of 4.1 million business trips with overnight stays were made in Finland in 2012. This was five per cent fewer than in 2011.

Reservation of accommodation and means of travel for leisure trips

It is common to use the Internet to make reservations for accommodation and means of travel for leisure trips. Seventy-three per cent of those that reserved tickets and 61 per cent of those that reserved accommodation made the reservation through the Internet.

For leisure trips with paid accommodation in Finland, 55 per cent of the accommodation was reserved through the Internet. Nearly all tickets for domestic flights and three out of four domestic train tickets were reserved on the Internet.

Three out of four tourists reserved their accommodation for leisure trips abroad on the Internet. Eighty-eight per cent who flew abroad on leisure trips reserved their ticket through the Internet. For boat trips, the corresponding figure was 65 per cent.

Leisure package tours

Even though independent travel has increased considerably in the era of the Internet, travel agencies' package tours still have their fans. Of leisure trips abroad which included at least one overnight stay in the destination country, 36 per cent were package tours bought from travel agencies.

Among the most popular destinations, most package tours were made to Greece; 92 per cent of leisure trips made to Greece were package tours. A lot of package tours were also made to the Canary Islands (80%) and Turkey (72%). Of the nearly 1.5 million trips to Estonia which included at least one overnight stay in the destination country, 46 per cent were package tours.

Package tours are not as popular in domestic travel as they are when travelling abroad. Of the 6.4 million domestic trips including paid accommodation, only four per cent were package tours including travel and accommodation.

Persons having travelled

The number of persons having travelled has increased slightly over the past years. During 2012, 4 million, or 92 per cent of Finnish residents aged 15 to 84, made at least one leisure trip that included an overnight stay. Included are all domestic and outbound leisure trips, as well as trips to free-time residences and visits to friends and relatives. As many as 96 per cent of those living in the Helsinki region made some leisure trip with an overnight stay. The level of education also had an impact on how actively people travel, because 96 per cent of those with higher education made a leisure trip with an overnight stay. Eight per cent of the population did not make any leisure trips with overnight stays outside their usual environment during 2012.

In 2012, some 2.2 million Finnish residents aged 15 to 84 made at least one leisure trip in Finland with paid accommodation. This is 50 per cent of all those belonging to the age group. Nearly as many, or 49 per cent of all those belonging to the age group made at least one leisure trip abroad which involved staying overnight in the destination country.

Nearly every fourth Finnish resident aged 15 to 84, or 970,000 persons, made a business trip in Finland which involved staying overnight or a business trip abroad during which a night was spent in the destination country.

In the 2012 survey, respondents were also asked why they had not travelled. Of Finnish residents who had not travelled, 37 per cent said they did not like to travel, 22 per cent did not travel for economic reasons, and 20 per cent said that health issues prevented them from travelling.

Data collection

The data concerning travel derive from Statistics Finland's monthly Finnish Travel sample survey. In all, 17,205 persons aged 15 to 84 permanently resident in Finland were interviewed for the numbers of trips.

The number of persons who had travelled during the year was collected with an additional survey carried out in connection with the December interview survey concerning travel. The data describing 2012 are based on 1,441 interviews.

Additional tables are found in the Px–Web database at:
http://pxweb2.stat.fi/database/StatFin/lii/smat/smat_en.asp

Changes

Small changes have been made to the 2012 data published every four months as a result of recalculation. This release contains the revised figures.

In 2012, the population of the survey was extended by including the age group 75 to 84. At the same time, the weighting coefficients and the interview questionnaire were renewed. Therefore, data for 2012 are not fully comparable with those for earlier years. Further information about the changes can be found in the revision notification at:
http://tilastokeskus.fi/til/smat/smat_2012-02-03_uut_001_en.html

Data on 2010 and 2011 are not fully comparable with those on earlier years due to the revised data collection method.


The sums in the tables do not always amount to the totals shown because of rounding.

[..] Data not available or too uncertain for presentation.
[  ] No observations in the survey.


Source: Finnish Travel, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Mervi Härkönen 09 1734 3254, Taru Tamminen 09 1734 2243, liikenne.matkailu@stat.fi

Director in charge: Hannele Orjala

Publication in pdf-format (336.3 kB)

Tables

Tables in databases

Appendix tables

Quality descriptions

Updated 18.4.2013

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Finnish Travel [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-9027. 2012. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 15.10.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/smat/2012/smat_2012_2013-04-18_tie_001_en.html