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Domestic travellers in Sweden and Finland during the pandemic – how do they differ?

Updated: Oct 10, 2022

As the corona pandemic hit the Nordic countries in the mid-March 2020, domestic tourism played an important role in the tourism economy in both Finland and Sweden. During April-December 2020 the share of domestic bed nights was up to 91 per cent in Sweden and 93 per cent in Finland. Let’s take a closer look to these domestic travellers. How did they travel?

On their domestic trips Finns travelled more typically by public transport than Swedes. 23 per cent of Finnish domestic trips were made by train or by bus, while 13 per cent of the Swedish domestic trips were made by train or by bus. A car was by far the most used transport as 79 per cent of Finns and 89 per cent of Swedes travelled by car on their domestic trips.

Finns travelled for work a little less than Swedes. Eight per cent of Finnish domestic trips were business trips, while 11 per cent of Swedish domestic trips were business trips. Finns and Swedes travelled to meet friends or relatives equally often, more than a third (37%) of domestic trips of both nations were visits to friends or relatives. In Sweden over half (56%) of these travellers also stayed over at friends or relatives and 21 per cent stayed over at their own or lent cottages. In Finland 72 per cent stayed over at their friends or relatives and 19 per cent stayed over at a hotel or hostel.

Swedish people spent on average 3,5 nights on their domestic trips while Finnish people spent on average 4,2 nights on their domestic trips (daytrips excluded).

The three most visited counties in Sweden were Västra Götaland County (16%), Stockholm County (13%) and Skåne County (12%). The three most visited provinces in Finland were Uusimaa (19%), Pirkanmaa (12%) and Finland Proper (10%). Swedes made trips abroad more typically (6% of all trips) than Finns (1%) during the corona pandemic in 2020. Trips between and inside provinces (in Finland) and counties (in Sweden) are visualized below.

Share of domestic trips between or inside provinces/counties (TOP THREE)

Finland Sweden


Inside Uusimaa (13%) Inside Västra Götaland County (11%)


From Uusimaa to Pirkanmaa (9%) Inside Skåne County (8%)


From Uusimaa to Finland Proper (7%) Inside Stockholm County (7%)

Swedish data includes weekly trips, if they are made for free-time purposes (such as trips to one’s own cottage). These are not included in the Finnish data. Otherwise the results are comparable.

More about Swedish and Finnish travellers in 2021 coming up soon. For more information, contact

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