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Report: Patterns and behaviours of Finnish travellers

Updated: Oct 10, 2023

This report provides an overview of the travel habits and preferences of Finnish people, focusing on months and weeks of holidays, preferred travel destinations, and significant behaviors exhibited by Finnish travelers.

Travel Seasons and Holiday Periods

Finnish travel patterns are shaped by climate, national holidays, and cultural practices. Key holiday periods include:

1. Summer Holidays (June to early August)

Finnish people prefer traveling during the summer months when schools are on break and the weather is favorable. However, many Finns will stay in Finland because they have their cottages or summer houses and they love Finnish summer! In recent years, due to climate change, Finland experienced extreme heat waves.

Schools in Finland close in June, so many Finns can already travel in early June. July sees a significant surge in both domestic and international travel, it is considered a 'dead month'

in Finland. For Greeks and others south Europeans, August is the holiday month. However, note that in Finland schools start in early August so unfortunately the summer month of August is not a popular time for Finns to travel. Of course, depending on the parents' professions and leaves, parents can request permission from the school in order for them to vacation in August.

2. Christmas and New Year (Late December to Early January)

Many Finns take time off during the festive season for domestic travel within Finland to spend time with family and friends. Finnish skiing enthusiasts travelling frequently to destinations such as Ruka-Kuusamo, Levi, Ylläs, Pyhä-Luosto, Tahko, Serena Ski Resort, Vuokatti, Saariselkä, Iso-Syöte, and Himos for their skiing adventures. (All these destinations need a blog post of their own!)

Photo by Ilya Shishikhin

3. Winter Holiday (February)

The February school break prompts Finnish families to head to ski resorts, both domestically and in neighboring countries, for skiing or snowboarding. Fat-biking and snowshoeing have become popular in recent years.

Photo by Hendrik Morkel

4. Easter Break (March or April)

While not as extensive (Finns only take off Good Friday and Easter Monday, so it's a long 4-day long weekend) as the Christmas holidays, the Easter break prompts some travel activity.

Photo by Johannes Plenio.

5. Autumn Break (Mid-October)

The autumn break, known as 'syysloma', has become popular for travel within Finland and to neighboring countries.

In the website of Finland's Ministry of Education, there is a list of all the school holidays annually.

Preferred Travel Destinations

Finnish people exhibit diverse travel preferences encompassing both domestic and international destinations. Key trends include:

1. Domestic travel

Exploring their own country is highly favored, especially during the summer months. Finnish Lapland, the Finnish Lakeland, and coastal cities like Turku and Helsinki are popular destinations.

2. European destinations

Proximity plays a role in choosing European countries. Greece, Cyprus, Spain and Italy are preferred for their warm climates, delicious cuisines, and beach resorts. City breaks to Stockholm, Tallinn, and other Baltic cities are common. Other central European destinations are popular, too.

3. International destinations

Finns are well-travelled and they don't hesitate to travel half-a-planet way. While Europe remains a popular choice due to its proximity, a growing number of Finnish tourists are embracing long-haul journeys to far-flung destinations such as Asia, North America, and Oceania. These travelers seek diverse experiences, ranging from immersing themselves in vibrant cultures to indulging in exotic landscapes and culinary delights. Thanks to national airline carrier Finnair which offers connections to many long-haul destinations, Finns can enjoy their travels around the globe.

4. Thematic Travel

Finnish travelers often choose destinations aligned with their interests, such as wellness tourism, cultural experiences, and outdoor activities like snorkeling, mountain-biking, hiking, running and skiing. Finns are driven by their fitness and wellness goals.

Travel Behaviors and Characteristics

Several noteworthy behaviors and characteristics define Finnish travelers:

1. Nature and Outdoor Activities

Finnish people have a strong affinity for nature and outdoor activities, often seeking destinations that offer hiking, skiing, and other recreational opportunities.

2. Sustainability and Eco-Tourism

Sustainability is important, with many Finnish travelers valuing eco-friendly accommodations and environmentally responsible travel options.

3. Family-Centric Travel

Family vacations are common, with parents prioritizing destinations and activities catering to children's needs and interests.

4. Pre-Booking and Planning

Finnish travelers tend to plan ahead, booking flights, accommodations, and activities in advance.

5. Value for money and packages

Value-for-money destinations are crucial for Finns, as they prioritize maximizing their travel experiences within reasonable budgets, enabling them to explore diverse locations, engage in meaningful activities, and create lasting memories without compromising on quality. That's the reason why many Finns opt for packages that allow them to enjoy enriching experiences that align with their preferences while making the most of their travel investments.

Understanding these patterns is crucial for the tourism industry to cater effectively to Finnish tourists' needs and preferences.



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