Tourism grew in Finland on both sides, domestic and foreign, as the coronavirus epidemic (koronavirus, in Finnish) broke out.
According to Statistics Finland data, in February overnight stays by national tourists increased by 10.1% from last year and 1.23 million nights were recorded. On the other hand, stays by foreign tourists increased by 1.9%, up to 0.61 million nights.
In total, the month China was fighting desperately against the epidemic and the Covid-19 began to spread throughout Europe, Finnish accommodation establishments recorded a total of 1.85 million overnight stays, 7.2% more than a year before.
By the end of January, Finnish health authorities had confirmed the first coronavirus case found in the country, a young Chinese tourist in Lapland.
Chinese stays decreased by 69%
Precisely, the biggest drop was seen in overnight stays by Chinese tourists, the group that had been growing most during the last year. Their visits to Finnish accommodation establishments fell by 32,600 nights or 69.1% compared to February 2019.
Among the most important countries of inbound tourism to Finland, overnight stays by Russians increased most in absolute numbers, by 12,200 nights. This was 31.8% higher than in the year before.
The biggest group of non-resident tourists were Germans with 70,500 overnight stays. The second largest group was Britons with 65,900 overnight stays. The third largest group was French with 62,100 overnight stays, and fourth were Russians with 50,700 overnight stays. The fifth largest group was Dutch tourists (49,600 nights), sixth was Estonians (23,600 nights), seventh Swedes (23,300 nights) and eight tourists from the United States (22,900 nights).
8% increase in Lapland
Examined by region, establishments in Uusimaa recorded 178,000 overnight stays by non-resident tourists and those in Lapland 289,000.
Overnight stays by non-resident tourists declined by 1.6% in Uusimaa. In Lapland, overnight stays by non-resident tourists increased by 1.9% from one year ago. The share of Uusimaa in all overnight stays by foreign visitors was 29% and that of Lapland 47%.
The presence of foreigners in Finnish accommodation establishments increased most in relative terms in South Ostrobothnia, by 24.4%, and second most in North Ostrobothnia, by 16.3%. By contrast, the overall number of overnight stays declined most in relative terms in Kymenlaakso, by 6.6% and second most in South Savo, by 2.6%.