Finnish tourism revenue this year would be about 2 billion euros less than the pre-Covid level in 2019, the country’s Association of Service Sector Employers (Palta) said.
“If tourism remains at the level of the previous months at the end of the year, the current year’s direct tourism revenues will be approximately 1.5 billion (euros) less than they would have been with the number of tourists in 2019. In addition, there will be losses in passenger traffic,” Xinhua news agency quoted Martti Pykari, Palta’s chief economist, as saying on Monday.
During the first nine months of this year, one million less foreign tourists arrived in Finland than in the same period in 2019, a decrease of about 40 per cent.
The main reason for this was a decline in the number of tourists coming from Asia, according to Palta.
Compared to the third quarter of 2019, there were 70 per cent fewer overnight stays by Asian tourists this year, which explains more than half of the total decrease in overnight stays by foreign tourists.
Meanwhile, a drop in the number of Russian tourists accounts for 17 per cent of the total change. The number of tourists from Russia has halved from the peak year of 2015.
Pykari said that tourism in Finland had struggled to recover from the pandemic, and had lost its market share to other Nordic countries.
In Sweden and Norway, the share of foreign tourists was only 8 per cent lower than the pre-pandemic level, and in Denmark and Iceland, the pre-pandemic level has already been exceeded.
Before the pandemic, Finland’s share of tourists arriving in the Nordic countries was 14 per cent, but it remained at 9 per cent in 2022.
In recent years, the impact by lack of foreign tourists had been partly offset by increased domestic tourism. However, there was no guarantee that this phenomenon would last, as consumer confidence in Finland had been constantly in decline since the spring of this year, according to Palta.