The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is responsible for setting the priorities of the Finnish tourism policy and it develops the sector in cooperation with other ministries and sectoral actors. It is also responsible for the coordination of the measures supporting tourism, drafting of tourism legislation and management of tourism relations between nations.
Development of tourism is closely connected with regional policy, which is also the responsibility of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. Tourism is a major industry, particularly in the areas in Eastern and Northern Finland.
International tourism cooperation
The ministry takes part in the consideration of international tourism matters in the EU and in other international cooperation bodies, such as:
- EU Strategy for Baltic Sea Region
- Barents Euro-Arctic Region
- Arctic Council
- Nordic Co-operation.
Visit Finland is an expert agency responsible for promoting Finland as a tourist destination in international markets. Its main task is to promote Finnish tourism by means of marketing communications and, in particular, by promoting Finland as a tourist destination. Visit Finland and the tourism industry conduct joint product campaigns and arrange fact-finding visits for foreign travel operators and the media that support the promotion of Finland as an attractive destination. It acquires market information for the industry and promotes product development. Visit Finland is a unit of Business Finland and receives its funding from the state budget.
High-Level Working Group on Tourism
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment has appointed a High-Level Working Group on Tourism, which will serve as an expert advisory body on strategy related to tourism development. The High-Level Working Group will promote the implementation of Finland’s tourism strategy for 2019–2028. It will also monitor and assess the sector’s operating environment and current phenomena and support the preparation of tourism policy measures.
Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä will chair the working group and Ilona Lundström, Director-General at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, will serve as vice chair. The working group will be composed of ministries that are of key importance to the tourism sector, including the units in their administrative branches as well as regional councils and state administration, regional tourism organisations, travel companies, research and educational institutions and organisations. The secretariat of the working group will operate from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. The working group’s term will begin on 1 September 2021 and last until 31 December 2028.
The High-Level Working Group on Tourism was preceded by cross-administrative tourism working group MiniMatka, which had been operating for more than 20 years and aimed to exchange information related to tourism and prepare issues together. The working group met several times a year and also acted as one of the bodies implementing Finland's tourism strategy. The 20-year history of the MiniMatka working group and the development of tourism policy in Finland have been examined in a report published in early 2020 (in Finnish) from the perspective of the administration.
In addition, in 2016 a Tourism Cooperation Group was established consisting of 35 industry leaders representing different branches of tourism. The term of the Tourism Cooperation Group term expired in 2018.
Further information: Sanna Kyyrä, sanna.kyyra(at)gov.fi