Published: 30 March 2021

Finnish residents' domestic trips to free-time residences increased in 2020

The travel phenomenon of 2020 was spending time at free-time residences in Finland and the number of overnight stays on domestic trips to free-time residences doubled compared with the previous year. In 2020, Finnish residents made a total of 2.3 million different leisure trips abroad, the number of which was only good one quarter compared to the year before due to the coronavirus crisis. Altogether 21.4 million different domestic leisure trips with overnight stay were made, which is nearly one fifth fewer than in 2019. However, trips were clearly longer in duration than in the previous year, for which reason the number of overnight stays increased by over 10 per cent. No significant change took place in the overnight stays of domestic leisure travellers outside Greater Helsinki compared with the previous year. By contrast, domestic leisure trips with overnight stay increased by nearly 50 per cent among residents in Greater Helsinki.

Finnish residents’ travel in 2012 to 2020 (excl. domestic leisure trips with free accommodation)

Finnish residents’ travel in 2012 to 2020 (excl. domestic leisure trips with free accommodation)

Finnish residents' leisure trips abroad plummeted in 2020 due to the coronavirus crisis. The number of all leisure trips abroad went down by 72 per cent.

Leisure trips to our southern neighbour Estonia decreased to under one half from the previous year and to our western neighbour Sweden they plummeted to under one fifth from the year before. The number of trips to Norway was one half of the previous year's figure. Among the neighbouring countries, the number of trips to Latvia decreased only by a quarter due to cruises.

The number of trips to Central Europe decreased by 82 per cent and those to Southern Europe by 80 per cent. The number of trips to Spain decreased by only 63 per cent despite the difficult pandemic situation. However, January and February 2020 had a strong impact on the number of trips to Spain, then travelling was completely normal.

Finnish residents’ most popular destinations for leisure trips with overnight stay in the destination country in 2020, 2019 and 2018

Finnish residents’ most popular destinations for leisure trips with overnight stay in the destination country in 2020, 2019 and 2018

The number of domestic trips with paid accommodation decreased by one quarter from the previous year. In 2020, the number of such trips was 5.5 million.

Short trips lasting under four nights decreased from the year before, but the number of trips lasting at least four nights increased a lot. July, August and October were the most popular times to travel in Finland.

The most popular destinations were located in the region of Lapland. The next most popular regions were Uusimaa and North Ostrobothnia. The most popular towns were Helsinki, Tampere, Kuopio, Turku and Kuusamo.

Compared with the previous year, nights spent at hotels decreased by one third, but nights spent at rented cottages increased by almost 50 per cent from the previous year.

Trips with free accommodation numbered 15.9 million and their most popular destination was Uusimaa. The next most popular destinations with free accommodation were Southwest Finland and Pirkanmaa. Of nights spent in free accommodation, overnight stays at own free-time residences increased most, as their number nearly doubled. By contrast, the number of nights spent at friends and relatives decreased by one fifth.

The number of business trips in Finland halved and business trips abroad remained under one fifth compared to the previous year.

Leisure trips of an average Finn in 2020:
     1.2 domestic leisure trips with paid accommodation,
     3.5 domestic trips with free accommodation,
     0.4 trips abroad that included overnight stay in the country of destination,
     0.1 same-day trips abroad or cruises to neighbouring areas.

Data collection

The data concerning travel were collected with a web questionnaire or interviews from 15,475 persons aged 15 to 84 permanently resident in Finland.

The numbers of persons who had travelled during the year were collected from 1,174 persons with additional questions asked in connection with the survey concerning travel in December.

Additional tables are found in the PX Web database at:
http://pxnet2.stat.fi/PXWeb/pxweb/en/StatFin/StatFin__lii__smat/?tablelist=true


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

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Updated 30.3.2021

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Finnish Travel [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-9027. 2020. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 20.4.2021].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/smat/2020/smat_2020_2021-03-30_tie_001_en.html