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New first: Chinese tourists outnumber Russians

Chinese travelers have helped to balance out the lack of Russian tourists in Finland. From January to September Chinese tourists paid out nearly 140 million euros in travel and consumption. The capital region netted some 90 million euros worth of Russian money.

Turisti kuvaa Helsingin tuomiokirkkoa Senaatintorilla.
Russians drop 41 percent, Chinese rise same amount. Image: Anne Hämälainen / YLE

This is the first year that Chinese tourists bring more money to Finland than Russians. A market report on Helsinki tourism shows that during the period from January to September Chinese travelers used nearly 140 million euros on their trips to Finland.

At the same time the capital region raked in some 90 million euros of Russian money.

From January to September 360,000 Chinese people and 546,000 Russians visited the capital region. Chinese tourists spent an average of 380 euros per person, and Russians spent 165 euros per person.

Via Helsinki

About half of Chinese tourists visit Helsinki on the way to bigger metropolises, so a good deal of monetary traffic happens in Finnish airports.

"Helsinki is still a point of transit for many Chinese travelers," says Visit Helsinki's CEO Tuulikki Becker. "They visit several large cities, never just Helsinki. They move on to Stockholm, Copenhagen or big European metropolises."

The weakening of the Russian rouble and Russia's dire economic straits directly cause less tourism. The number of Russians coming into Finland has gone down 41 percent in 2015. Meanwhile the number of Chinese visitors went up the very same amount, 41 percent.

German, English, Swedish and Japanese tourists also helped narrow the tourism gap caused by the lack of Russians.

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