Tourism revenues forecast to slump up to 70% this year

Experts estimate that it could take until 2022 for the tourism sector to recover to previous levels.

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File picture of the cathedral in Helsinki's Senate Square, July 2018 / Credit: News Now Finland

The amount of money spent by domestic and foreign tourists in Finland is forecast to fall by as much as 70% during 2020 due to the impact of the coronavirus on travel and the economy.

Last year tourists spent €16.1 billion, and the Ministry of Employment and the Economy reckons it will take until 2022 before the industry reaches those numbers again.

A new report estimates that if a recovery in the tourism sector begins in September, then total demand will shrink by about 60% this year – or around €9.8 billion. However if recovery does not start until December then total demand will shrink by about 70% or €10.9 billion.

“Of course we all know that hotels are pretty much all closed, today about 80% of all hotels are according to some estimations closed down, and those who have not closed down their occupancy rate is very small” says Katarina Wakonen from Visit Finland.

“Our main areas in terms of tourism revenue, in terms of absolute flows are the capital area and Lapland, but then there are some rural areas which in absolute terms tourism is not so important but the relative impact of foreign tourism might be very high like in Kainuu or some other areas of Eastern Finland. They are dependent more on tourism” she explains.

Domestic tourism 

Demand for domestic tourism during this year is estimated to shrink by up to 60% or €5.1 billion, but the recovery of the sector will be slower for foreign tourists than domestic travelers as people take holidays at home and avoid going abroad this year.

“We really should be looking for our exit strategy, how to get out of this crisis. Domestic tourism is very important also in that sense in the first place it’s very important to keep the tourism service providers alive, so when once again the recovery from target market starts there is still a high quality service providers and offerings for all kinds of tourism” says Visit Finland’s Katarina Wakonen.

Tourism accounts for about 2.7% of Finland’s gross domestic product.