1. Trips abroad

1.1. Norway became a new favourite for Finns

In 2015, Finns made 8,137,000 leisure trips abroad, which is three per cent more than in 2014. Trips with overnight stay in the destination country grew in total by five per cent from the year before. The number of trips with at least four nights spent in the destination country remained at the same level, while short trips with one to three nights spent in the destination country increased by ten per cent.

Same-day cruises increased by four per cent from the previous year. Same-day trips mainly by car to the neighbouring countries went down by 11 per cent from the year before. The number of cruises with overnight stay on board decreased by five per cent from the previous year.

In 2015, a total of 2,480,000 leisure trips were made to Estonia, which represented 30 per cent of all leisure trips. Trips to Estonia that included overnight stay in the country of destination increased by 15 per cent and day cruises by 14 per cent. By contrast, the number of overnight cruises went down by 21 per cent. Trips were made to Estonia mostly in July, when the number of leisure trips to our southern neighbour rose to over 300,000.

Sweden was the second most popular travel destination for Finns in our neighbouring areas with 1,480,000 leisure trips. The number of overnight cruises to Sweden increased by five per cent, but trips with overnight stay in the destination country decreased by 21 per cent and same-day trips by 25 per cent. The favourite time to travel to Sweden was in April and in July.

In addition to leisure trips, Finns also travel to Sweden to meet relatives and friends. In 2015, these types of trips covered around 15 per cent of trips to Sweden.

Among the Nordic countries Norway and Denmark also increased their popularity as destinations for Finns in 2015. As many as 209,000 leisure trips were made to Norway and 91,000 to Denmark. Trips to Norway that included overnight stay in the country of destination increased by 47 per cent and trips to Denmark by 41 per cent.

A change took place in travel to Russia already in 2014, because leisure trips with overnight stay in the destination country decreased by 25 per cent from the previous year. In 2015, the decrease halted and the number of trips remained the same as in 2014. In contrast, same-day trips went down during 2015 and 25 per cent fewer of them were made than one year earlier. Of leisure trips to Russia, 23 per cent were trips to meet relatives and friends.

1.2. Central Europe enticed Finnish tourists

Central Europe increased its popularity in 2015 and the number of trips there went up by 17 per cent. Germany became the most popular country in the area and the number of trips headed there was 326,000. Trips to Great Britain were on level with the year before. In contrast, the Czech Republic, Poland, Switzerland and France took a bigger bite of Finnish tourists than in the year before.

Spain is a long-time favourite of Finns, and it has been the third most popular destination for leisure trips for years as was also the case in 2015. However, the number of trips to Spain declined from 2014. A total of 273,000 trips were made to the Canary Islands, which is 21 per cent fewer than in the previous year. In all, 375,000 trips were headed to Continental Spain and the Balearic Islands, which is eight per cent down on the year before.

Trips to the Canary Islands are mainly taken during the winter season but Continental Spain attracts Finnish travellers throughout the year. For a long time, the number of trips made to the Canary Islands and Continental Spain remained more or less the same per year, but since 2012, trips to Continental Spain have outstripped those made to the Canary Islands.

Other northern Mediterranean countries also attracted Finnish residents. In total, 1.2 million leisure trips were made to the Mediterranean in Europe in 2015.

Of Mediterranean countries, Turkey and Greece are also among the ten most popular holiday destinations for Finns. Trips are made to these two countries mainly from spring to autumn and most trips to Turkey and Greece are conventional package tours. The number of trips to Greece increased by 17 per cent from the year before, but trips to Turkey were unchanged from the previous year.

Of southern European countries, Portugal increased its popularity a great deal, and the number of trips there grew by as much as 46 per cent.

Asia's popularity grew in 2015, and 39 per cent more trips were made there than one year earlier. However, the number of trips to the usual favourite country, Thailand, went down by eight per cent. In turn, the number of trips to the United Arab Emirates grew considerably.

The American continent is also falling in popularity. The United States, which was growing strongly in 2014, now lost travellers, and the number of trips there went down by 24 per cent.

1.3. Taking a boat abroad

Altogether 3,604,000 various leisure trips were made abroad by boat last year, which is more or less the same as one year before. Of all leisure trips abroad, 44 per cent were made on boats. Of the trips made by boat, 98 per cent were made to Estonia or Sweden.

In 2015, Finns made 1,887,000 trips with overnight stay in the destination country where a boat was used as the means of travel. Compared with 2014, the number of these trips grew by five per cent. A total of 1,091,000 overnight cruises and 627,000 day cruises were made. The number of overnight cruises decreased by five per cent but day cruises increased by four per cent 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, 63 per cent were made by boat, 24 per cent by air, and 12 per cent by passenger car.

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

Number of leisure trips abroad made by boat by month in 2015

Number of leisure trips abroad made by boat by month in 2015

1.4. Number of business trips abroad went up by slightly from the previous year

In 2015, business and professional trips abroad involving overnighting in the destination country numbered 1.6 million. The number of these business trips was on level with 2014. Most business trips abroad with overnight stay were made to Sweden, Estonia, Germany and Great Britain. The number of business trips was 251,000 to Sweden, 195,000 to Estonia, 211,000 to Germany, and 104,000 to Great Britain.

Work-related same-day trips abroad made during 2015 numbered 229,000, or 47 per cent more than in 2014. A total of 62,000 work-related cruises were made abroad, which is 44 per cent fewer than in the year before.


Source: Finnish Travel, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Taru Tamminen 029 551 2243, Teemu Okkonen 029 551 2634, liikenne.matkailu@stat.fi

Director in charge: Mari Ylä-Jarkko


Updated 30.3.2016

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Finnish Travel [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-9027. 2015, 1. Trips abroad . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 19.3.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/smat/2015/smat_2015_2016-03-30_kat_001_en.html