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1. Trips abroad

1.1. Estonia and Sweden continue as favourites for Finns

In 2017, Finns made 8.5 million leisure trips abroad. The number of trips with overnight stay in the country of destination was 6.5 million. Of them, 3.7 million were trips with at least four nights in the country of destination and 2.8 million were short trips with one to three nights. Cruises with overnight stays on board numbered around 1.1 million. The number of day trips abroad was slightly under one million. Of them, some 0.6 million were day cruises to Estonia and 0.1 million to Sweden.

In 2017, a total of 2.4 million leisure trips were made to Estonia, which represented 29 per cent of all leisure trips. Trips were made to Estonia most in July, when the number of leisure trips to our southern neighbour rose to 320,000. June and November were also popular months for travelling.

Sweden was the second most popular travel destination for Finns in our neighbouring areas with 1.6 million leisure trips. The most favoured month for travelling to Sweden was June. December and July were the second most popular months for travelling. In addition to leisure trips, Finns also travel to Sweden to meet relatives and friends. In 2017, these types of trips covered around 20 per cent of trips to Sweden.

Among the Nordic countries, Denmark and Norway also increased their popularity as a destination for Finns in 2017.

A change occurred in travel to Russia in 2014, as the number of trips to our eastern neighbour declined considerably. Even though travel has recovered a bit in recent years, the number of trips has not yet reached the level of 2013. A total of 0.4 million leisure trips were made to Russia in 2017. Of these trips, 19 per cent were trips to meet relatives and friends.

1.2. Travel to Central Europe increases year after year

Finnish residents have travelled to Central Europe usually more and more every year. In 2017, Finns made 1.4 million leisure trips to Eastern and Western Europe. The number of trips increased both in the Western European favourites of the United Kingdom, Germany and France and the Eastern European favourites of the Czech Republic and Poland.

In total, 1.2 million leisure trips were made to the Mediterranean in Europe in 2017.

Spain is a long-time favourite of Finns, and it has been the third most popular destination for leisure trips for years. Trips to Continental Spain increased from the previous year. The popularity of the Canary Islands declined somewhat from 2016.

Trips to the Canary Islands are mainly taken during the winter season but Continental Spain attracts Finnish travellers throughout the year. For a long time, the number of trips made to the Canary Islands and Continental Spain was more or less the same per year, but since 2012, trips to Continental Spain have outstripped those made to the Canary Islands.

Other favourite northern Mediterranean countries were Italy, Greece and Croatia.

The popularity of long-distance tourism decreased slightly in 2017. The number of trips to the American continent declined.

1.3. Nearly one-half of trips abroad are made on a boat

Altogether 3.6 million various leisure trips were made abroad by boat last year, which is more or less the same as one year before. Of all leisure trips abroad, 43 per cent were made on boats. Of the trips made by boat, 99 per cent were made to Estonia or Sweden.

In 2017, Finns made 1.9 million trips with overnight stay in the destination country where a boat was used as the means of travel to the destination country. Compared with the previous year, the number of these trips has remained unchanged. A total of 1.1 million overnight cruises and 0.7 million day cruises were made.

Of the leisure trips made to Estonia, 99 per cent were made by boat. Of the leisure trips made to Sweden, 72 per cent were made by boat, nine per cent by air, and 17 per cent by passenger car.

Finns went on overnight cruises most in December and on day cruises in June. When one or several nights were spent in the destination country the trip was usually made in July.

One-in-four had their own car when travelling to Estonia and one-in-five when going to Sweden. In Estonia, every eighth trip was with a travelling party’s bus.

Number of leisure trips abroad made by boat by month in 2017

Number of leisure trips abroad made by boat by month in 2017

1.4. Number of business trips abroad decreased from the previous year

In 2017, business and professional trips abroad involving overnighting in the destination country numbered 1.7 million. The highest numbers of business trips abroad with overnight stays were made to Sweden, Germany and Estonia. Business trips to Sweden numbered 260,000 while 240,000 of them were made to Germany and 140,000 to Estonia.

During 2017, a total of 200,000 work-related day trips abroad were made.

Source: Finnish Travel, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Taru Tamminen 029 551 2243, Ossi Nurmi 029 551 2984,

Director in charge: Sami Saarikivi

Updated 29.3.2018

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Finnish Travel [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-9027. 2017, 1. Trips abroad . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 18.4.2024].
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