Tourism in figures 

Importance of tourism for Finnish economy

Tourism has become more important for the Finnish economy in recent years, before the pandemic. In 2017–2019, foreign tourism demand increased at an annual rate of about 8 per cent. The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020 and the resulting restrictions had a significant impact on tourism. Before the pandemic, the GDP share of tourism remained at 2.7% but, according to the preliminary data for 2020, it decreased by a whole percentage point to 1.7%.

Total revenue generated by tourism amounted to EUR 16,3 billion in 2019. Foreign tourists spent about EUR 5,3 billion in Finland, and domestic tourists 11 billion. In 2020, total tourism demand was EUR 9.7 billion, down by EUR 6.6 billion (41%) from 2019. Inbound tourism demand decreased by EUR 3.8 billion (71%) and domestic tourism demand by EUR 2.8 billion (26%). 

According to the 2021 estimates, the total demand for tourism recovered to 11.2 billion euro due to the growth of domestic tourism. The share of domestic demand for tourism increased from 67% in 2019 to to 84% in 2020, and is estimated to reach almost 90% in 2021. Demand for domestic tourism rose well above the pre-pandemic level in 2021. Foreign demand continued to decline in 2021 despite the recovery in the latter half of the year.

Regional impacts

In 2019, more than half of tourists' consumption in Finland, about EUR 8 billion, went to Uusimaa and almost EUR 1.1 billion to Lapland. Regionally, in addition to Uusimaa, tourism demand was particularly concentrated in Lapland (7 %), Pirkanmaa (6 %), Southwest Finland (6 %) and Northern Ostrobothnia (4 %). Lapland and South Karelia were the only provinces where more than half (54 %) of the tourism demand was foreign. In addition, the share of foreign demand was higher than in the whole country in Uusimaa (40%) and in Åland (38%).

The impact of the pandemic differed significantly from one region to the next. Tourism demand decreased most steeply in regions in which the share of inbound tourism demand was significant before the pandemic. In the Uusimaa region, tourism demand decreased by 55% (EUR 4.5 billion) in 2020. At the other extreme, tourism demand only decreased by 6% in South Savo and by 9% in North Karelia.

Employment in tourism industries

A total of 154 000 people worked in industries linked to tourism in 2019, which is 5.8 per cent of all employed people in Finland. The number of employed people increased by 2,500 (4.5%) in 2017 –2019. Tourism has also significant multiplier effects on other sectors, such as construction, transport, and commerce. In addition, the use of temporary agency labour is common.

According to the preliminary data for 2020, the number of people employed in tourism industries decreased by 25,400 (16%) to a total of 128,700 people. The number of hours worked in tourism industries was 22% (55 million hours) lower than before the pandemic.

Tourism Account Report 2019-2020 (in Finnish, with summary in English). More detailed database tables are available in Visit Finland’s Statistics Service Rudolf (in English). The MEAE Business Sector Services publishes an annual sectoral report on the state and future prospects of the tourism business. Reports on tourism (in Finnish).

Tourism account or Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) is a statistical system which describes the economic and employment impacts of tourism in a comprehensive manner. It has been jointly developed by such bodies as the UN, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the OECD and the EU.

Further information: Sanna Kyyrä