Finland’s tourism revenues better than expected: ministry

The decline in Finland’s tourism revenues this year has been lower than expected, according to figures published by the Finnish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment on Wednesday.

Back in May, a 60 percent to 70 percent year-on-year drop was projected, but the actual figure is around 40 percent. The tourist consumption in Finland in 2020 would be 40 percent less than in 2019, while in May the drop was estimated as 60-70 percent.

The Finnish travel industry’s 2020 revenues will fall some seven billion euros (8.26 billion U.S. dollars) short of the 16.1 billion euros registered in 2019, said the ministry, adding that although domestic travel has so far been livelier than expected, its increase did not cover the absence of foreign visitors to Finland due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 crisis has to date reduced foreign tourism demand in Finland by almost 70 percent, which means a loss of between 3.3 billion euros and 3.5 billion euros, estimated the ministry.

Prime Minister Sanna Marin said on Tuesday that the government is planning to allow foreign tourists to enter Finland on condition that they present a fresh negative COVID-19 certificate.

Sanna Kyyra, chief specialist at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, told the local news agency USU that the relaxation of the health-based travel rules would make it possible to resume inbound tourism.

Also on Wednesday, Danske Bank upgraded its forecast for Finland’s economic growth this year, but downgraded the forecast for 2021. As the Finnish economy has survived the COVID-19 crisis with less damage than expected, Danske Bank’s economists predicted that Finland’s economy would contract by 4.5 percent this year, compared with 5.5 percent predicted in June.

However, the bank downgraded the forecast for Finland’s economic growth in 2021 from 3.5 percent to 2.5 percent.