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Published: 3 July 2009

Finnish residents made over 32 million leisure trips in 2008

During 2008, Finnish residents made altogether 32.3 million leisure trips, of which 5.2 million were made abroad. Leisure trips abroad with at least one overnight stay in the destination country numbered 3.3 million, which is 3 per cent more than in the year before. Similarly to the year before, leisure cruises including overnights on board only numbered 1.3 million. In addition, same-day leisure trips abroad numbered roughly 0.6 million, which is 6 per cent more than in the year before. Leisure trips in Finland during which some paid accommodation was used numbered 5.1 million. This is 4 per cent more than in the previous year. Trips made in Finland to own free-time residence or to visit relatives or friends totalled 22.1 million, which is on level with the previous year. These data derive from Statistics Finland's Finnish Travel Survey for which 19,251 people resident in Finland and aged 15 to 74 were interviewed.

By far the most popular destination of leisure trips including overnights in the destination country was Estonia with 714,000 trips made. Trips to Estonia also increased the most, by 46,000 trips. The next most popular destinations were Spain and Sweden. Trips to Spain numbered 386,000 and those to Sweden 338,000. Roughly one-half of the trips to Spain were made to the Canary Islands. The number of trips to Spain was on level with the year before. By contrast, the number of trips to Sweden fell slightly, by 8 per cent. Compared to the top five in the previous year, Italy moved up from the fifth to the fourth place, overtaking Greece. A total of 156,000 trips were made to Italy and 146,000 to Greece. The number of trips to Italy grew by roughly 15 per cent. By contrast, the number of trips to Greece was down slightly from the year before.

Considerably more trips were made to Bulgaria and Turkey than in the year before. The same applied to Egypt and Cyprus. The number of trips to Bulgaria was 66,000. The increase from the previous year was nearly 70 per cent. The number of trips to Turkey increased by a third from the year before, to a total of 52,000 trips. A total of 45,000 trips were made to Egypt, which was more than one-and-a-half times the number of trips in 2007. The number of trips to Cyprus was nearly twice as high as in 2007, that is 42,000 trips.

The most popular long-distance destination was again Thailand with 89,000 leisure trips. According to the Finnish Travel Survey, travelling to Thailand, however, decreased by some 30 per cent from the record numbers of the year before. The second most popular long-distance destination was the United States to where 76,000 leisure trips were made. The number of trips to the United States went up by around 40 per cent from the previous year.

Cruises numbered 1.26 million. Their number was down by one per cent from the year before. During a cruise overnights are spent on board only, although a visit ashore can be made but without staying overnight. In all, 832,000 leisure cruises were made to Sweden and 424,000 to Estonia.

In addition, Finnish residents made 584,000 same-day leisure trips abroad (incl. same-day cruises) during 2008. A total of 410,000 same-day trips were made to Estonia and 119,000 to Sweden.

Finnish residents' favourite destination countries for leisure trips with overnight stays in 2008 and compared to 2007

In 2008, roughly 5.1 million leisure trips were made in Finland during which paid accommodation services, such as hotels, camping sites or rented cottages were used. The number was up by 4 per cent, or 211,000 trips, from the year before. The most popular destination regions were Uusimaa and Lapland. Approximately 650,000 trips with overnight stays at paid accommodation were made to both of these regions.

Almost one-fifth, or 954,000, of the leisure trips in Finland which included overnight stays in paid accommodation were made in July, 567,000 in August and nearly half a million in June. One-half of the roughly 5.1 million trips to own free-time residences were made in May-August. Good one-third of the trips to visit relatives or friends were made in June-August. Fifteen percent of domestic trips and 13 per cent of trips abroad were made in July.

Source: Finnish Travel. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Ms Ritva Tikkanen +358 9 1734 3300 and Ms Taru Tamminen +358 9 1734 2243,

Director in charge: Ms Hannele Orjala


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Last updated 3.7.2009

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Suomalaisten matkailu [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-8837. 2008. Helsinki: Tilastokeskus [referred: 19.4.2024].
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