RCIN and OZwRCIN projects


Title: Travel preferences of Finnish cross-border tourists: Opportunities and limitations for Russian Karelia


Geographia Polonica Vol. 94 No. 4 (2021)



Place of publishing:



24 cm


The study aims to examine travel preferences of Finnish cross-border tourists with special reference to the Republic of Karelia, Russia. Data were collected using paper-based and online surveys from 300 respondents travelling from Finland to the Russian Karelia. Although cross-border tourists are a significant part in the inbound tourist flow to Russian Karelia, several obstacles for this type of tourism have been revealed. Measures to stimulate Finnish tourists to travel to Russian Karelia are suggested. The results of this study can be used to improve Karelian tourist products by providing services as expected by tourists. The findings are limited to visitors of Russian Karelia and should therefore be interpreted with caution.


2018 Schengen Visa statistics by third country. Retrieved from https://statistics.schengenvisainfo.com/2018-schengen-visa-statistics-third-country/ [6 September 2020].
Björn, I. (2015). Border province: The main features of the development of North Karelia after World War II. Studia Humanitatis Borealis, 5(2), 4-16.
Boonchai, P., Freathy, P. (2020). Cross-border tourism and the regional economy: A typology of the ignored shopper. Current Issues in Tourism, 23(5), 626-640. https://doi.org/10.1080/13683500.2018.1548579 DOI
Borzyszkowski, J. (2019). Neighboring countries - an important segment in inbound tourism - an example of the European Union member states. WSB Journal of Business and Finance, 53(1). https://doi.org/10.2478/WSBJBF-2019-0001 DOI
Breiby, M.A., Duedahl, E., Øian, H., Ericsson, B. (2020). Exploring sustainable experiences in tourism. Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism, 20(4), 335-351. https://doi.org/10.1080/15022250.2020.1748706 DOI
Characteristics of the unified e-visa and conditions for its issuance. MFA Russia Consular department. Retrieved from https://evisa.kdmid.ru/# [11 August 2021].Characteristics of the unified e-visa and conditions for its issuance. MFA Russia Consular department. Retrieved from https://evisa.kdmid.ru/# [11 August 2021].
Chow, C.K.W., Tsui, W.H.K. (2019). Cross-border tourism: Case study of inbound Russian visitor arrivals to China. International Journal of Tourism Research, 21(5), 693-711. https://doi.org/10.1002/jtr.2297 DOI
Eskelinen, H., Oksa, J., Austin, D. (Eds.). (1994). Russian Karelia in search of a new role. Joensuu: Karelian institute, University of Joensuu.
Europe's Responsible Tourism Award 2020. Retrieved from https://www.worldtravelawards.com/award-europes-responsible-tourism-award-2020
Gromov, V.V. (2003). Vozdejstvie turizma na razvitie regiona (The impact of tourism on the development of the region). Petrozavodsk: Scandinavia. (in Russian).
Gurova, O. (2012). Počemu peterbužcy otpravlâûtsâ za pokupkami v Finlândiû? Issledovanie transgraničnogo šopinga (Why do city dwellers from St. Petersburg go shopping to Finland? A Study of crossborder shopping). Ekonomicheskaya sotsiologiya / Economic sociology, 13(1), 18-37. (in Russian). DOI
Gurova, O., Ratilainen, S. (2015). 'Turist s vostoka': očerk o vospriâtii rossijskogo potrebitelâ finskoj pressoj ('Tourist from the East': Perceptions of Russian consumer by Finnish printed media). Ekonomicheskaya sotsiologiya / Economic Sociology, 16(3), 26-45 (in Russian). DOI
Gurova, O., Ratilainen, S. (2016). From shuttle traders to middle-class consumers: Russian tourists in Finnish newspaper discourse between the years 1990 and 2014. Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism, 16(1), 51-65. https://doi.org/10.1080/15022250.2016.1244507 DOI
Hannonen, O. (2016). Peace and quiet beyond the border: The trans-border mobility of Russian second home owners in Finland. University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu.
Izotov, A., Laine, J. (2013). Constructing (un)familiarity: Role of tourism in identity and region building at the Finnish-Russian border. European Planning studies, 21(1), 93-111. https://doi.org/10.1080/09654313.2012.716241 DOI
Kolosov, V., Więckowski, M. (2018). Border changes in Central and Eastern Europe: An introduction. Geographia Polonica, 91(1), 5-16. http://doi.org/10.7163/GPol.0106 DOI
Kononenko, V. Laine, J. (2008). Assessment of the Finnish-Russian border: The case of Vaalimaa bordercrossing point. The Finnish Institute of International Affairs.https://www.files.ethz.ch/isn/92091/wp57.pdf
Kostiainen, A. (1999). The vodka trail: Finnish travellers' motivation to visit the former Soviet Union. In Travel patterns: Past and present. Three studies (pp. 33-48). http://www.genealogia.fi/emi/art/article263e.htm [17 August 2021].
Kusdibyo, L. (2016). Examining souvenir shopping tourists behaviour across cultures. In Proceedings of the Asia Tourism Forum 2016 - the 12th Biennial Conference of Hospitality and Tourism Industry in Asia (pp. 317-321). https://doi.org/10.2991/atf-16.2016.47 DOI
Käyhty, A. (1999). The Russians are coming - and Lappeenranta rubs its hands. Helsingin Sanomat, 20.
Laine, J. (2017). Finnish-Russian border mobility and tourism: Localism overruled by geopolitics. In D. Hall (Ed.), Tourism and geopolitics: Issues and concepts from Central and Eastern Europe (pp. 178-190). Wallingford: CABI. https://doi.org/10.1079/9781780647616.0178 DOI
Laine, J.P.,Van der Velde, M. (2017). Spiritually ours, factually yours: Karelia and Russia in Finnish public consciousness. Europa Regional, 24(1/2). https://www.ssoar.info/ssoar/handle/document/54451
Lauren, K. (2014). Facing the otherness: crossing the Finnish-Soviet Estonian border as narrated by Finnish tourists. Culture Unbound. Journal of Current Cultural research, 6(6), 1123-1143. https://doi.org/10.3384/cu.2000.1525.1461123 DOI
Li, L.H., Cheung, K.S., Han, S.Y. (2018). The impacts of cross-border tourists on local retail property market: an empirical analysis of Hong Kong. Journal of Property Research, 35(3), 252-270. https://doi.org/10.1080/09599916.2018.1511628 DOI
Makkonen, T., Williams, A., Weidenfeld, A. Kaisto, V. (2018). Cross-border knowledge transfer and innovation in the European neighbourhood: Tourism cooperation at the Finnish-Russian border. Tourism management, 68, 140-151. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2018.03.008 DOI
Makkonen, T. (2016). Cross-border shopping and tourism destination marketing: The case of Southern Jutland, Denmark. Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism, 16(1), 36-50. https://doi.org/10.1080/15022250.2016.1244506 DOI
Malkowski, A., Mickiewicz, B., Malkowska, A. (2020). Shopping tourism as a Factor in the development of peripheral areas: The case of the Polish-German borderland. European Research Studies Journal, 23(3), 238-248. DOI
Manakov, A.G., Kondrateva, S.V., Terenina, N.K. (2020). Development of cross-border tourist and recreational regions on the Karelian section of the Russian-Finnish border. Baltic Region, 12(2), 140-152. https://doi.org/10.5922/2078-8555-2020-2-9 DOI
McKenzie, B. (2016). Vodka Tourism in Estonia: Cultural Identity or Clearly Commerce? Travel and Tourism Research Association: Advancing Tourism Research Globally. 70. https://scholarworks.umass.edu/ttra/2011/Visual/70
Mitríková, J., Šenková, A., Antolikova, S., Parová, V. (2016). The analysis of shopping behaviour in the context of spending leisure time activities of consumers in the chosen shopping centres in Vienna (Austria). Economic Annals-XXI, 161(9-10), 71-74. https://doi.org/10.21003/ea.V161-16 DOI
Nesterova, I.S. (2009). Prigraničnaâ torgovlâ sel'skogo naseleniâ Velikogo knâžestva Finlândskogo i Vostočnoj Karelii (Cross-border trade of the rural population of the Grand Duchy of Finland in Karelia). Učenye zapiski Petrozavodskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta, 5, 24-29 (in Russian).
Nesterova, I.S. (2012). Karel'skie torgovcy v Velikom knâžestve Finlândskom (Karelian traders in the Grand Duchy of Finland). In Grani sotrudničestva: Rossiâ i Severnaâ Evropa (The dimensions of cooperation: Russia and Northern Europe) (pp.301-308). Petrozavodsk: Petrozavodskij gosudarstvennyj universitet. (in Russian).
Objects of cultural heritage in the Republic of Karelia. Retrieved from http://monuments.karelia.ru/ob-ekty-kul-turnogo-nasledija/ [17 August 2021]. (in Russian).
Order of the Federal Security Service of Russia of August 7, 2017 No 454, "On approval of the rules of the border regime". Retrieved from http://www.consultant.ru/document/cons_doc_LAW_282173/ [11 August 2021]. (in Russian).
Prokkola, E.-K. (2010). Borders in tourism: The transformation of the Swedish-Finnish border landscape. Current Issues in Tourism, 13(3), 223-238, https://doi.org/10.1080/13683500902990528 DOI
Prokkola, E.-K. (2019). Border-regional resilience in EU Internal and External border areas in Finland. European Planning Studies. https://doi.org/10.1080/09654313.2019.1595531 DOI
Ramsey, D., Thimm, T., Hehn, L. (2019). Cross-border shopping tourism: A Switzerland-Germany case study. European Journal of Tourism, Hospitality and Recreation, Sciendo, 9(1), 3-17. DOI
Russians spent almost 23 billion rubles in borderland Finland in 2017. Retrieved from https://sanktpeterburg.bezformata.com/listnews/rossiyane-za-2017-god-potratili/67825251/ [4 August 2021] (in Russian).
Ryazantsev, S.V., Gadzhimuradova, G. (2021). Russophone immigration to Finland: New forms, trends, and consequences. Baltic region. 13(2), 146-164. https://doi.org/10.5922/2079-8555-2021-2-8 DOI
Shikalov, J.G. (2016). Istoriâ v formirovanii regional'noj identičnosti žitelej g.Vyborga v sovetskij i postsovetskij periody (Regional identity development of Vyborg population in the Soviet and Post-Soviet periods). Učenye zapiski Petrozavodskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta, 5(158), 13-20. (in Russian).
Shikalov, Y., Hämynen, T.(2013). Viipurin kadotetut vuodet 1940-1990.Helsinki: Tammi.
Sireni, M., Pöllänen, P., Davydova-Minguet, O. (2021). Invisible agents of rural development. Russian immigrant women in the Finnish border region. Frontiers in Sociology, 6: 601726. https://doi.org/10.3389/fsoc2021.601726 DOI
Spierings, B., van der Velde, M. (2013). Cross-border differences and unfamiliarity: shopping mobility in the Dutch-German Euro region. European Planning Studies. 21: 1, 5-23. Doi: 10.1080/09654313.2012.716236 DOI
Stepanova, S.V. (2014). Cross-border tourism in the Russian Northwest: General trends and features of development. Baltic Region, 3, 109-120. https://doi.org/10.5922/2079-8555-2014-3-10 DOI
Stepanova, S.V. (2019). The Northern Ladoga region as a prospective tourist destination in the RussianFinnish borderland: Historical, cultural, ecological and economic aspects. Geographia Polonica, 92(4), 409-428. https://doi.org/10.7163/GPol.0156 DOI
Stepanova, S.V. (2019). Czynniki rozwoju turystyki przygranicznej na rosyjsko-fińskim pograniczu (Factors underpinning the development of tourism in Russian-Finnish borderland areas). Przegląd Geograficzny, 91(4), 573-587 https://doi.org/10.7163/PrzG.2019.4.7 DOI
Stepanova, S.V., Shlapeko, E.A. (2018). Trends in the development of cross-border trade in the RussianFinnish borderland. Baltic Region, 10(4), 103-117. DOI
Studzinska, D., Sivkoz, A., Domaniewski, S. (2018). Russian cross-border shopping tourists in the Finnish and Polish borderland. Norwegian Journal of Geography, 72(2), 115-126. http://doi.org/10.1080/00291951.2018.1451365 DOI
Su, X., Spierings, B., Hooimeijer, P., Scheider, S. (2020). Where day trippers and tourists go: Comparing the spatio-temporal distribution of Mainland Chinese visitors in Hong Kong using Weibo data. Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research, 25(5), 505-523. https://doi.org/10.1080/10941665.2020.1741409 DOI
Szytniewski, B., Spierings, B., van der Velde, M. (2017). Socio-cultural proximity, daily life and shopping tourism in the Dutch-German border region. Tourism Geographies. 19(1), 63-77. https://doi.org/10.1080/14616688.2016.1233289 DOI
Szytniewski, B., Spierings, B. (2018). Place image formation and cross-border shopping: German shoppers in the Polish bazaar in Słubice. Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, 109(2), 295-308. https://doi.org/10.1111/tesg.12283 DOI
The Border Guard in Figures, The Finnish Border Guide. Retrieved from https://www.raja.fi/prime103_en.aspx/current_issues/statistics [6 September 2020].
The official tourist portal of the Republic of Karelia. Retrieved from http://www.ticrk.ru/en/ [6 September 2020].
Timothy, D.J., Butler, R.W. (1995). Cross-border shopping: A North American perspective. Annals of Tourism Research, 22(1), 16-34. https://doi.org/10.1016/0160-7383(94)00052-T DOI
Vanhatalo, A., Niemela, P., Kuuluvainen, T., Vasander, H. (Ed.). (2017). Viena vieköön ¾ matka kalevalaiseen luontoon ja kulttuuriin. Helsinki: Helsingin yliopisto, 256.
Więckowski, M. (2010). Tourism development in the borderland of Poland. Geographia Polonica, 83(2), 67-81. DOI
Więckowski, M., Cerić, D. (2016). Evolving tourism on the Baltic Sea coast: Perspectives on change in the Polish maritime borderland. Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism, 16(1), 98-111. https://doi.org/10.1080/15022250.2016.1244598 DOI


Geographia Polonica





Start page:


End page:


Detailed Resource Type:


Resource Identifier:

oai:rcin.org.pl:232791 ; 0016-7282 (print) ; 2300-7362 (online) ; 10.7163/GPol.0220


CBGiOS. IGiPZ PAN, call nos.: Cz.2085, Cz.2173, Cz.2406 ; click here to follow the link



Language of abstract:



Creative Commons Attribution BY 4.0 license

Terms of use:

Copyright-protected material. [CC BY 4.0] May be used within the scope specified in Creative Commons Attribution BY 4.0 license, full text available at: ; -

Digitizing institution:

Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization of the Polish Academy of Sciences

Original in:

Central Library of Geography and Environmental Protection. Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization PAS

Projects co-financed by:

European Union. European Regional Development Fund ; Programme Innovative Economy, 2010-2014, Priority Axis 2. R&D infrastructure



Object collections:

Last modified:

Dec 29, 2021

In our library since:

Dec 28, 2021

Number of object content downloads / hits:


All available object's versions:


Show description in RDF format:


Show description in RDFa format:


Show description in OAI-PMH format:




Citation style:

This page uses 'cookies'. More information