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The Impact of Covid-19 on Tourism

Updated: Oct 10, 2022


Registered overnight stays decreased by 38 percent in Finland from 2019

By region, the largest losers were Uusimaa and Åland, where overnight stays decreased by about 60 % from 2019. The largest loser among cities was Helsinki, where overnight stays decreased by 64 %.


The Covid-19 pandemic only started to affect tourism in March 2020, so the changes should be considered from the beginning of April. In April to December, overnight stays decreased by 45 per cent in Finland, 61 per cent in Åland, 71 per cent in Uusimaa and 76 per cent in Helsinki from a year ago.


But not everywhere went as badly. There were some areas in Finland where tourist overnight stays increased from 2019. The number of overnight stays in the regions of Turunmaa and Ylivieska and in the municipalities of Ähtäri, Kemiönsaari, Mäntyharju, Parainen, Pudasjärvi, Lieksa, Salla and Hanko increased compared to a year ago. In these areas, there are few foreign tourists and, on the other hand, the destinations are small and safe areas during the Covid-19 pandemic.


Finland vs. Sweden


What happened to Sweden, which was ravaged by the Covid-19 pandemic much worse than Finland?

In Sweden, the number of overnight stays in 2020 decreased by 35 per cent year-on-year and in April-December the drop was 41 per cent. So less than in Finland - how can this be possible?


Overnight stays by foreign tourists decreased more in Sweden than in Finland. In Sweden, the drop was 70 per cent, while in Finland “only” 68 per cent. Domestic overnight stays in Sweden also decreased, but not quite as much as in Finland. Swedes stayed in accommodation establishments in their home country 24 per cent less than in 2019, while Finns spent 25 per cent less in their home country. While the share of domestic overnight stays in Sweden is higher (74 % in 2019) than in Finland (69 %), the absence of foreign tourists does not cause the same drop in Sweden as in Finland. Therefore, more investments in domestic tourism is needed!


Tourist Surveys 2020


In June 2020, we launched the Domestic Tourism Survey, which surveys Finns over the age of 15 on a weekly basis about their domestic trips during the past month. We are currently summarizing the June-January data (n=8090). In the report, we also look at foreign tourists in the regions based on the TAK Border Survey data (n=8544) from 2020. With regard to foreign tourists, it should be noted that there will not be only negative things to report :)

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