Domestic travel drives Finland’s summer tourism surge

Improved quality and services make even smaller service providers attractive to Finns looking to enjoy a 'staycation'.

Summer flowers in an old bicycle basket, on Kemionsaari Island, southern Finland / Credit: News Now Finland

Finland’s summer tourist industry is being driven by demand for domestic travel.

It’s due in part to efforts from regions around the country to promote themselves a so-called ‘staycation’ destinations for Finns.

“In the past few years, Finnish travel service providers have done huge work to ramp their services up to international levels, this has paid indeed a big impact for domestic tourism demand as well, through more competitive service content” says Paavo Virkkunen, Executive Director of Visit Finland.

“For example, through digital channels, not so well known local service providers can now be found more easily, which certainly increases the scale of content availability and general awareness, and improve demand for domestic tourism as well” Virkkunen tells News Now Finland.

The latest figures from both Visit Finland and Statistics Finland show that this year’s exceptionally warm summer – the second hottest on record – prompted Finns to make 11.3 million domestic leisure trips with overnight stays from May to August. An increase from the previous year.

Slight fall in international tourists

Foreign tourists are also finding Finland, although a 23-month period of growth for international visitors peaked in May had has tailed off a little since then.

“Remembering that 2017 was an all-time travel record to Finland, setting a new benchmark, it’s still a surprise that a leveling-off didn’t occur earlier. Not is is time to set up the capacity for the next growth period” says Virkkunen.

Virkkunen thinks one possible cause for a slight drop in international tourist number might be the looming threat of a trade war between the US and EU or China; drops in exchange rates; as well as rising oil prices which can be reflected in increased flight costs.

However, Paavo Virkkunen isn’t overly concerned about the longer term outlook for international visitors coming to Finland, a country with a reputation for quality and trustworthiness.

“If I summarized Finland in one sentence, it would be: laid back in an active way, and that is what we must strive for”.

Virkkunen isn’t, however, concerned about international tourism as far as Finland is considered internationally to be very well trustworthy and having good quality ratio – and all Lapland torus have already been sold out anyway.