Demand in Finland’s travel industry is not expected to reach the 2019 level until 2023 at the earliest, the Finnish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment said in a report published on Wednesday.
The ongoing travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic are projected to slow down the sector’s recovery, noted the report produced jointly with Statistics Finland and travel organizations.
In 2021, tourist consumption is expected to decrease by 40-50 percent in Finland. Even if recovery in tourism begins in late summer, consumption will still fall by about 40 percent, or more than six billion euros (7.15 billion U.S. dollars).
However, if recovery does not start until the winter season of 2021-2022, consumption will decline by about 50 percent, or about eight billion euros, the ministry estimated. Last year, total tourist consumption in Finland dropped from 16.1 billion euros in 2019 to 9.3 billion euros. The most optimistic scenarios foresee tourist consumption to reach 9.8 billion euros this year and 15.3 billion euros in 2022, the ministry said.
The COVID-19 crisis will reduce the consumption of foreign tourists in Finland by about 80 percent this year, or 3.8-4.2 billion euros, compared to 2019. Tourism accounted for 16 percent of Finland’s service exports in previous years, the report noted. Domestic tourism is projected to shrink by about 8-18 percent, or 0.7-1.6 billion euros, in 2021. Before the COVID-19 crisis, domestic tourism had accounted for almost 55 percent of Finland’s total tourism demand. This year, the share of domestic tourism is expected to grow to 82-86 percent.