Finland is a relatively small country (in comparison with a nearby Russia) located on the north-west Europe. In terms of area, it is the eighth largest country in Europe and the most sparsely populated country in the European Union. A considerable part of its territory lies above the Arctic Circle (25%). It is bordered by Sweden to the west, Norway to the north, Russia to the east and Estonia to the south (over the Gulf of Finland). The south and west coasts of the country are washed by the Baltic Sea. Length of Finland coastline (excluding islands) is about 46,000 km. The coastal zone has a large number of islands. Great influence on the history of Finland had its neighbours - Sweden and Russia. Finland is an independent state since Dec. 6, 1917. The capital of Finland is Helsinki. Finland citizens call their country “Suomi”.
- Official languages: Finnish, Swedish.
- Largest cities: Helsinki, Espoo, Tampere, Vantaa, Turku.
- Area: 64 in the world, land area 338,424 km².
- Population (2014) 5,457,429 persons.
- Telephone code: +358.
Tourism in Finland
What attracts tourists to Finland?
- Finnish nature can be considered as a major factor for attracting tourists to Finland. Finland is one of the most sparsely populated countries in Europe and the nature here has been not much damaged by people. The summer here is not as hot as in most popular resorts in the world. Here you can enjoy a comfortable temperature. There's no a lot of people on the beaches and cars on the roads. Finnish lakes and the Baltic Sea coast is a good place for a summer holiday for those who appreciate the tranquillity, peace and nature. Tourists from many countries (and inhabitants of Finland) rent summer homes on shores of lakes or the sea.
- Finnish Lapland has become a popular destination for foreign tourists in recent years. In winter, you can go skiing or ride a reindeer. Nature lovers come here at the summer for walks and fishing. There is a light at night in summer. Santa Claus Village is popular among tourists. It is located near the town of Rovaniemi.
- There are many places where you can enjoy winter sports in Finland. There are a lot of skiing centers (Salla, Hand, Levi, Ylläs).
- There are many interesting events. Interesting event ere held in Finland almost every weekend during the summer: festival, concert, sporting event. Some of the events attract tourists from other cities of Finland and neighbouring countries. Among popular festivals are, for example, "The Days of the Sea" in Kotka, festival of military orchestras in Hamina, a music festival in Pori.
Which regions of Finland are the most popular among foreign tourists?
Helsinki is the most popular city of Finland. Turku, Tampere, Pori cities are also popular among tourists. Located on the south-east of the country cities are visited by large number of tourists from Russia. Many Russian tourists come to this region for only one day (many for shopping).
Lakes region of Finland (The Lakeland) is wary popular among tourists. Residents and tourists from different countries like to spend vacation here. Here are located cities Savonlinna, Mikkeli, Lappeenranta, Imatra.
Northern Finland, Lapland, attracts tourists with its unique nature. In winter, you can see the Northern Lights (or Aurora Borealis). The residence of Santa Claus is located here. It is wary popular place with tourists from many countries.
In 2012, Finland was visited by about 7.6 million foreign tourists. The largest number of tourists comes to Finland from Russia. In 2012, tourists from Russia accounted for approximately 47% of the total number of tourists (3.6 million tourists came from Russia).
Approximately half of the visited Finland in 2012 tourists stayed in hotels. Approximately 45% of the tourists do not use the hotel facilities. Approximately two-thirds of Russian tourists make day trips and return to Russia on the same day (or in transit to another country). On average, foreign tourists spent in hotels in Finland 4 nights.
Foreign tourists spent on average in Finland 59 euros per day in 2012. The largest amount of money was spent by tourists from Japan (EUR 126 per day) and Russia (EUR 120 per day).
Countries from which to Finland came the greatest number of tourists (million, 2012).
- Russia - 3,578.
- Estonia - 0,758.
- Sweden - 0,702.
- Germany - 0,342.
- Great Britain - 0,273.
- Norway - 0,235.
Finland has roughly the same number of residents as the nearby Russian city St. Petersburg. Hence residents of St. Petersburg and Moscow see Finland as a small, quiet country in which is possible have a good weekend or holiday. Here you can relax from the bustle of business life in big cities. Many Russians are coming here to ski or visit the Santa Claus Village in Lapland in winter. Spa-hotels and water parks are also very popular among the people from Russia.
Residents of Finland also like to travel. The greatest number of trips is domestic tourism, travel within their own country. The largest number of foreign trips is made in neighboring countries: Estonia, Sweden and Russia. Most often it is a short trip, lasting from one to three days. Among the most popular among residents of Finland countries also are Germany, Britain and France.
The most popular country for a summer holiday is Spain (including the Balearic and Canary Islands), Greece, Turkey and Italy. Wishing to take a dip in the warm sea and spend a vacation in a warm climate in winter often choose the Canary Islands and Thailand.