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1. Trips abroad

1.1. Travel abroad plummeted from the previous year

In 2020, Finns made 2.3 million leisure trips abroad. The number of trips with overnight stay in the country of destination was 1.7 million. Of them, 1.0 million were trips with at least four nights in the country of destination and 0.7 million were short trips with one to three nights. Cruises with overnight stays on board numbered 0.3 million. The number of day trips abroad was also 0.3 million. Of them, around 0.1 million were day cruises to Estonia.

The travel year 2020 began almost in the same way as previous years. In the early part of the year, it was not yet evident how far-reaching the effects of the coronavirus would be on travelling.

In January, people travelled as they had done in previous years. In February, schoolchildren started their winter holidays and families could then still go on their expected holiday trips. However, everything changed in March as in mid-month Finland's government ordered a state of emergency in the country. Finns were encouraged to avoid travelling both in Finland and abroad due to the prevailing coronavirus situation.

Finns adhered to the request and travelling abroad almost stopped. The number of infections increased throughout Europe, which led the Finns who spent their winter in the south to return in large numbers to Finland.

In summer the situation was slightly better and travel abroad also picked up slightly. However, many people did not venture to go further than the neighbouring areas. Estonia has been a major favourite for Finns for a long time, and Estonia's pole position was not threatened even by the difficult pandemic situation. During the summer months Finnish residents made 580,000 leisure trips abroad, and 54 per cent of these trips were made to Estonia.

During 2020, altogether 0.2 million leisure trips were made to Central Europe, and 0.3 million to Southern Europe.

1.2. Nearly one half of the trips abroad in 2020 were made by boat

Last year, 1.0 million different leisure trips abroad were made by boat. Of all leisure trips abroad, 46 per cent were made on boats. Of the trips made by boat, 73 per cent were made to Estonia, 20 per cent to Sweden and five per cent to Latvia.

In 2020, Finns made 0.5 million trips with overnight stay in the destination country where a boat was used as the means of travel. Compared with the previous year, the number of such trips decreased by 65 per cent. A total of 0.3 million overnight cruises and 0.2 million day cruises were made.

Number of leisure trips abroad made by boat by month in 2020

Number of leisure trips abroad made by boat by month in 2020

1.3. Number of business trips abroad plummeted

In 2020, business and professional trips abroad involving overnight stay in the destination country numbered 0.4 million. The highest number of business trips abroad with overnight stays were made to Sweden.


Source: Finnish Travel, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Taru Tamminen 029 551 2243, Ossi Nurmi 029 551 2984, liikenne.matkailu@stat.fi

Head of Department in charge: Hannele Orjala


Updated 30.3.2021

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Finnish Travel [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-9027. 2020, 1. Trips abroad . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 1.3.2024].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/smat/2020/smat_2020_2021-03-30_kat_001_en.html