The coronavirus pandemic has caused a drop of more than 40% in travel spending in Finland, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.
The ministry said tourists, both foreign and domestic, spent 9.3 billion euros in Finland last year, almost seven billion euros less than holidaymakers spent in the Nordic country in 2019.
The main cause of the decline was due to “travel policies and restrictive measures” by Finland and other countries in an attempt to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, according to the ministry.
The ministry noted that Finland’s overall economy has not suffered as much as the travel industry, with GDP estimated at around 3%.
The travel industry has been hit the hardest by the lack of foreign visitors, according to the ministry. However, he noted that many residents chose to vacation in Finland last summer, somewhat offsetting the sector’s significant financial losses.
However, as the summer heat subsided, infection rates and restrictions began to rise again and the newly found enthusiasm for domestic travel began to wane, according to the ministry.
The financial outlook for the travel industry for this year is due next month, the ministry said.
The travel expenditure estimates were compiled by the ministry in consultation with the tourism company Visit Finland, the statistics agency Statistics Finland, the Finnish Hotel Association MaRa and the Association of Finnish Travel Agents (Smal).