Return of Russian tourists to Finland

Return of Russian tourists to Finland

The end of travel restrictions on the Finland-Russia border has led to an increase in tourist traffic between the two countries, although numbers remain far below pre-pandemic levels.

Finland lifted travel restrictions from the beginning of July and Russia did the same on July 15. After a timid recovery, the numbers are on the rise. According to statistics released Monday (July 18) by the Finnish border guards, there were around 13,700 crossings at three border crossings over the weekend. Before the Covid pandemic, the number of passages was around 20,000 per day.

Asked by Finnish broadcaster YLE, the head of Finland’s southeastern border guard district, Kimmo Gromoff, said that around 80% of people crossing the border were Russians going to Finland. The main reasons for coming are tourism and shopping in stores near the border, while some Russians also have summer residences in Finland. Some Finns also make the trip in the opposite direction to buy cheaper petrol.

For a considerable number of Russians, Finland is a stopover on the road to Western Europe and holiday destinations. According to the newspaper report Helsingin Sanomatmost Russian travelers at Helsinki airport were only willing to comment on the current situation anonymously.

The number of visits by Russians to Finland and travel across the country is expected to increase further, as Finnish authorities have reported that visa applications from Russia to Finland are increasing daily.

Source

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