Despite the increase in the tourist flow of Russians to Finland, Russians began to spend less money in a neighboring country. This conclusion was reached by researchers at the TAK Oy analytical center.
According to Fontanka, General Director Pasi Nurkka told that in 2018 the Russians left about 310 million euros in the border region of South Karelia, of which 40 million were for services, 270 million for the purchase of goods, and, as a rule, this is not about branded clothes, and about ordinary food.
Researchers have found that more than 65% of Russians are from St. Petersburg, about 15% are from Vyborg and border regions, 7% are from Moscow, and the rest are from other regions.
Every second travels to a neighboring country just for the sake of shopping, but over the year the average amount of purchases in stores decreased from 180 to 155 euros. On average, the expenses of a citizen of the Russian Federation for one trip to Finland decreased since 2017 from 240 to 219 euros. The decline in consumer activity is noted by the head of the Chamber of Commerce of South Karelia, Mika Peltonen.
“Costs decreased slightly. If you look at the segments, then 95% of Russian buyers purchase food, 45% - household chemicals and household items, 22% - clothes. At the same time, the share of those who buy clothes is decreasing from year to year”, says Peltonen.
In the past few years, the preferences of shopping tourists have not changed: traditionally, Russians take home food and everyday goods. The lion's shares of purchases are cheese, fish, caviar and detergents. Last year, the popularity of sweets also increased by 55%. Fewer Russians began to call shopping the main purpose of visiting Finland (in 2017 there were almost 80%, now only half of it), more often tourists talk about other intentions. According to the survey, one in four goes on vacation, 12% use Suomi for transit, 9% visit friends, the rest make business and other trips.
According to Nurkka, most Russians in the border region simply cannot afford to use various services and are concentrating on buying food. One in nine spends money in Finland specifically for shopping. Only half of travelers from the Russian Federation enter restaurants and fast-food cafes, and only a third in South Karelia. To save on food, on day trips, many take a snack with them. Only less than 10% are ready to invest in a hotel, cottage or hostel.
However, this year the situation has improved slightly. According to the forecasts of TAK analysts, despite the weakening of the ruble at the beginning of this year, the development of Russian tourism in Finland by the end of 2019 will be better than in 2018. Recall that in the first half of 2019, passenger traffic on the Russian-Finnish border increased by 4% compared to the same period in 2018, to 5 million 340 thousand crossings.
“Russia remains the largest tourist market for Finland in the last decade, in 2017-2019 its share remains at 12%, judging by the statistics of overnight stays, but taking into account day trips, it is much larger,” says the marketing director of the Russian tourist representative of Finland “Visit Finland” Sergey Shkurov. - During the period from January to July there is a slight decline in nights (a little less than 3%). But people both drove and drove, maybe they just spend a little less time. There are 2.2 nights for every traveler”.
As Shkurov emphasizes, despite the fact that the Asian market is gaining momentum, financing for marketing in Russia is not decreasing and Visit Finland conducts its activities in the same volume as in the best years. And according to forecasts, no special decline is expected for the winter season.