Thursday 10/28/21

The Finns, among the 10 peoples of the EU who travel the least abroad

Finnish residents made 39,534,000 trips with overnight stays in 2017. Most of them (76%) were domestic trips and  59.7% were made by private cars, according to the latest figures published by Eurostat.


Finns prefer their own country more than others to travel. At least that is what emerges from the latest comparative data on the number of trips made by citizens of the member states of the European Union (EU) published by Eurostat.

A good reason for this preference for domestic tourism may be the fact that a growing number of families living in Finnish towns and cities spend an increasing part of their free time in their summer cottages.

According to the statistical office of the European Union, in 2017 Finnish residents made 39,534,000 trips with overnight stays. Of them, 76.3% were domestic trips and only 23.7% were outbound trips. The average length of the trips made by the Finns in this period was 3.4 nights, well under the EU average (5.1 nights). 

In fact, this does not mean that Finns travel very little. The comparison of the figures shows that the Finns travel more than double than Belgians or the Hungarians, despite the fact that both countries have around twice the population of Finland. The traits that distinguish Finnish travelers are their preference for short trips and within their own country.

Highest shares of domestic trips

The comparison made by Eurostat shows that on average 73.3% of the trips made by EU residents are domestic trips and 26.7% are trips abroad. And a detailed look at the results by country shows that there are only ten Member States in which citizens travel more at home than the EU average.

The highest shares of trips of EU residents within their country (domestic trips) were observed in Romania (94%), Spain (90.6%), Portugal (89%), Greece (88.4%), France (87.1%), Bulgaria (86.1%), Czechia (81.1%), Italy (79.8%), Poland (79.4%) and Finland (76.3%).

On the other hand, the largest proportions of trips abroad (outbound trips) in the EU were registered for residents of Luxembourg (98%), Belgium (80%), Malta (68%), Slovenia (62%), Cyprus (50.2%), Austria (49.8%), Ireland (48%), Netherlands (46.1%), Lithuania (44.6%), and Croatia (39.3%).

Trips-EU-residentsSource: Eurostat

By means of transport

Finns travel mainly by land (75.7% of the total trips), but less than the average in the EU (80.9%). They also travel by plane (15.4%), but again not as much the rest of Europeans on average terms (17.4%). And Finns travel by waterway (8.9%) considerably more than the EU average (1.7%).

Motor vehicles (private or rented) account in Finland for 59.7% of the trips made. Other 9.2% of those trips were made by train and 6.7% by bus or coach.

Within the whole EU

In total, EU residents made in 2017 1.3 billion trips with overnight stays that amounted to almost 6.4 billion nights. The average trip length was 5.1 nights. Almost half of those trips (49%) were purely for holidays and leisure, 35% to visit relatives and friends, 12% for business and 4% for other reasons, according to Eurostat.

Within the EU, airplanes were the main means of travel for tourists from Malta (63%), far ahead of Cyprus (49%), Ireland (43%) -note that those three countries are islands- and Luxembourg (42%). By contrast, in six EU countries -Romania (3%), Bulgaria (5%), Czechia (6%), Croatia and Slovenia (both 8%) the shares for air transport were less than 10%.

The highest use of trains for tourism trips was observed in France (15%) and Germany (14%). At the other end of the scale were Greece and Slovenia (both 1%), Bulgaria and Croatia (both 2%).


Image source: Eurostat

Motor vehicles were the main means of transport for more two-thirds of all trips made in twelve countries, with the highest share for the residents of Slovenia (85% of the trips), Portugal (80%), Czechia (79%), Spain and Bulgaria (both 77%).

Cars were used for less than half of all trips in Luxembourg and Cyprus (both 48%) and Ireland (49%).