1. Trips abroad

1.1. Estonia and Sweden long-standing favourites for Finns

In 2014, Finns made 7,929,000 leisure trips abroad, which is 1.5 per cent more than in 2013. Trips with overnight stay in the destination country grew in total by 2.8 per cent from the year before. The number of trips with at least four nights spent in the destination country increased by 6.4 per cent, while trips with one to three nights spent in the destination country decreased by 2.3 per cent.

Same-day trips and day cruises increased by 8.5 per cent. By contrast, the number of cruises with overnight stay on board decreased by 9.2 per cent from the year before.

In 2014, 2,297,000 leisure trips were made to Estonia, which represented 29 per cent of all leisure trips. Trips to Estonia that included overnight stay in the country of destination decreased by seven per cent and day cruises by five per cent. By contrast, the number of overnight cruises went up by six per cent. The most popular times to travel to Estonia was in May and in July to August.

Sweden was the second most popular travel destination for Finns with 1,658,000 leisure trips. The number of overnight cruises to Sweden decreased by 15 per cent but trips with overnight stay in the destination country increased by 13 per cent and same-day trips by 14 per cent. Of same-day trips to Sweden, 38 per cent were day cruises. The favourite time to travel to Sweden was in May to July.

In addition to holiday trips, Finns also travel to Sweden to meet relatives and friends. In 2014, these types of trips increased by 42 per cent and already covered as much as a good one-fifth of leisure trips to Sweden.

The lure of the neighbouring countries among Finnish tourists has been strong for a long time. Trips to Sweden, Estonia and Russia covered 55 per cent of all leisure trips made abroad in 2014.

There was, however, a change in terms of travel to Russia in 2014. Leisure trips with overnight stay in the destination country decreased by 25 per cent from 2013. By contrast, same-day trips increased at an accelerating pace over the year and they totalled 83 per cent more than in the year before.

1.2. Southern Europe increased its popularity

Spain is a long-standing favourite of Finns, and has been the third most popular destination for leisure trips for years as was also the case in 2014. Altogether 347,000 trips were made to the Canary Islands and 409,000 trips to Continental Spain and the Balearic Islands. Trips to the Canary Islands are mainly taken during the winter season but Continental Spain attracts Finnish travellers throughout the year. The number of trips made to Continental Spain exceeded the number of trips to the Canary Islands in 2012. The pull of Continental Spain is growing year after year, and in 2014 the number of these trips grew by eight per cent from the year before.

Other northern Mediterranean countries also attracted Finns as in 2014 the number of trips to these countries went up by ten per cent. In total, 1.2 million leisure trips were made to the northern coast of the Mediterranean. Italy was the fourth most popular travel destination for leisure trips with overnight stay in the destination country. Usually, the trips to Southern Europe are long but shorter trips are also made to Italy. Of the trips to Italy, 15 per cent lasted fewer than four nights.

Turkey and Greece also belong to the ten most popular travel destinations for Finns. People travel to Turkey and Greece mainly from spring to autumn. The number of trips to Greece increased by 27 per cent after the dip in the previous year.

Central Europe lost some of its popularity in 2014. Fewer trips were made to Germany and France than in the year before. By contrast, clearly more trips were made to Poland and Hungary than in 2013.

Long-distance destinations increased their popularity in 2014. Three per cent more trips were made to Asia and Oceania and the number of trips to Thailand increased by four per cent. Finns were particularly interested in the American continent, trips to the continent increased by 54 per cent. The favourite destination was the USA and trips there almost doubled.

1.3. Taking a boat abroad

Altogether 3,553,000 various trips were made abroad on board boats in 2014, which was three per cent fewer than in 2013. Of all leisure trips abroad, 45 per cent were made on boats. Of the trips made by boat, 99 per cent were made to Estonia or Sweden.

In 2014, Finns made 1,801,000 trips with overnight stay in the destination country where a boat was used as the means of travel. Compared with 2013, the number of these trips has remained unchanged. A total of 1,150,000 overnight cruises and 602,000 day cruises were made. The number of overnight cruises decreased by nine per cent but day cruises increased marginally from the previous year.

Of the leisure trips made to Estonia, 99 per cent were made by boat. Of the leisure trips made to Sweden, 61 per cent were made by boat, 26 per cent by air, and 11 per cent by passenger car.

Finns took overnight cruises most in May and on day cruises in July. When one or several nights were spent in the destination country the trip was usually made in July.

Number of leisure trips abroad made by boat by month in 2014

Number of leisure trips abroad made by boat by month in 2014

1.4. Business trips abroad increased from the year before

In 2014, business and professional trips abroad involving overnighting in the destination country numbered 1.6 million. The number of these business trips abroad grew by seven per cent from 2013. Most business trips abroad with overnight stay were made to Sweden, Germany, Estonia and Great Britain. The number of business trips was 303,000 to Sweden, 196,000 to Estonia, 166,000 to Germany, and 108,000 to Great Britain.

Work-related same-day trips abroad made during 2014 numbered 156,000, or 14 per cent more than in 2013. A total of 110,000 work-related cruises were made abroad, which is 13 per cent more than in the year before.


Source: Finnish Travel, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Mervi Härkönen 029 551 3254, Taru Tamminen 029 551 2243, liikenne.matkailu@stat.fi

Director in charge: Hannele Orjala


Updated 10.4.2015

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Finnish Travel [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-9027. 2014, 1. Trips abroad . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 17.2.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/smat/2014/smat_2014_2015-04-10_kat_001_en.html