Expects 20 million border crossings by 2017

222,000 border crossings took place over Salla check-point in 2012. Photo: Finnish Border Guard

Finland sees an exceptional rise in visitors from Russia and had an estimated income of €1,2 billion last year from Russian shoppers and tourists.


Last year, 12 million border crossings took place at the land border check-points between the two countries, up 10 percent from 2011. The sharpest increase is in the north where border crossings at Salla and Raja-Jooseppi was up more than 30 percent, shows the overview from the Finnish Border Guards. Additional travelers enter Finland at airports and sea harbors, espesially to Helsinki.

Russian visitors to Finland are good business. A survey carried out by local government authorities in the border areas estimates that Russians spent a total of €1,2 billion last year on purchasing foodstuff and clothes, reports YLE.

In addition comes spending at hotels and ski-resorts.

Finnish Border Guard are now preparing for an even larger flow of visitors from the east. The challenge is to improve the infrastructure at the border check-points to avoid larger queues. The Border Guard recently presented a scenario where passenger traffic is expected to grow to 20 million by the end of 2017.