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Coronavirus pandemic to cause a 60–70% decrease in tourist spending in Finland in 2020

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
6.5.2020 10.00 | Published in English on 7.5.2020 at 10.54
Press release

Tourism demand, or the amount of money spent by Finnish and foreign tourists in Finland, amounted to approximately EUR 16.1 billion in 2019. According to estimates, demand will not reach last year’s level before 2022.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, in cooperation with Visit Finland, Statistics Finland and the Finnish Hospitality Association MaRa, has prepared official estimates of the development of tourism demand.

If demand starts to increase in September, total demand in the travel and tourism sector will shrink by around 60%, or EUR 9.8 billion, in 2020. If, however, demand starts to perk up as late as in December 2020, total demand in 2020 will decrease by about 70%, or EUR 10.9 billion.

Domestic tourism demand represents the biggest decline measured in euros 

Domestic tourism demand is estimated to fall by 50–60% or roughly EUR 4.5–5.1 billion euros in 2020. Domestic tourism accounts for nearly 55% of the total tourism demand in Finland, making it the key cash flow generator for many companies in the tourism sector.

The coronavirus crisis will cut the foreign tourism demand by more than 70%, or EUR 3.5–3.9 billion. This represents a significant proportion of Finland’s service exports, of which tourism accounts for 16%, making tourism the third most important sector of service exports.  Over the past few years, tourism exports have shown strong growth.

Domestic demand generated by Finns’ trips abroad is showing the biggest relative decrease: almost 80%, or around EUR 2 billion. Travel abroad accounts for about 15 per cent of the total travel and tourism demand, consisting largely of services provided by domestic airline and shipping companies, and travel agencies.

Estimates help to plan stimulus measures for the tourism industry

The recovery of tourism demand, particularly inbound and outbound tourism, will be significantly slower than the demand for domestic tourism.

The estimates reflect the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on travel and tourism in Finland as a whole. They do not provide for an assessment of sectoral or regional recovery of tourism demand. The estimates of future development are based on international and national studies and evaluations of the effects of the coronapandemic on the tourism sector, and the sector’s development after the pandemic. The views have been proportioned to the figures provided in the Tourism Account produced by Statistics Finland and Visit Finland.

The estimates are based on the situation on 30 April and will be updated regularly. The estimates will be used to plan national stimulus measures for the tourism sector. The key objective of Finland’s tourism strategy is to strengthen sustainable growth and renewal of the tourism sector. The key growth indicator is the development of tourism demand, in other words tourist spending.

Tourism demand reflects the amount of money tourists spend on purchasing products and services during the year. The total demand for tourism includes the spending of both Finnish and foreign tourists in Finland.


Sanna Kyyrä, Chief Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 504 7012
Katarina Wakonen, Manager, Research, Global Insight, Visit Finland, tel. +358 40 072 3088
Ossi Nurmi, Senior Statistician, Statistics Finland, tel. +358 29 551 2984
Ari Peltoniemi, Chief Economist, Finnish Hospitality Association MaRa, tel. +358 44 750 4511

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