TOURISM SPENDING in Finland will fall up to 40 per cent short of the level preceding the coronavirus pandemic, indicate calculations made by Statistics Finland, Visit Finland, the Finnish Hospitality Association (Mara), the Association of Finnish Travel Agents (SMAL) and the Ministry of Employment and the Economy.
The Ministry of Employment and the Economy on Monday reported that the spending will drop by 30 per cent, or over five billion euros, if travel begins to recover between November and December.
If the recovery does not start until the first half of next year, however, the spending will decrease by 40 per cent, or over six billion euros, compared to 2019.
The press release highlights that estimates of the spending decline are more optimistic than at the start of last spring, following the rebound witnessed in domestic travel during the summer months. Tourism demand, though, cannot rebound to pre-pandemic levels without a boost from foreign visitors.
Domestic and foreign visitors spent about 16.3 billion euros in Finland in 2019.
The calculations suggest the spending, or tourism demand, will not rebound to that level until 2023, given the expectation that foreign tourism will recover slower than domestic travel. Tourism industry operators should also prepare for the possibility that the demand will remain lower for a longer period of time.
The crisis set off by the pandemic is expected to continue to gnaw away at international travel, in particular. In Finland, spending by foreign tourists is expected to plummet by 70–80 per cent, or 3.8–4.3 billion euros, and that by domestic tourists on services related to foreign travel by 76–86 per cent, or 1.7–2.0 billion euros, in 2021.
Services related to foreign travel include services by domestic airlines, cruise operators and travel agencies, for example.
The Ministry of Employment and the Economy pointed out that tourism has accounted for about 16 per cent of service exports, making it the third most important sector of service exports in Finland.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT