Economic Benefits from National Parks
Local businesses benefit from the funds granted by the Finnish government for national parks and hiking areas, as the funds return to society many-folded through local entrepreneurship and jobs. Government budget funds are used for building and maintaining hiking facilities in national parks and hiking areas. The private sector creates tourism business services around these areas.
The Finnish government finances the trails and campfire sites, i.e. the infrastructure of national parks and hiking areas. These facilities help create tourism industry in the vicinity of the protected areas.
The input-output ratio of the national parks is good: when Metsähallitus, Parks & Wildlife Finland invests one euro of tax payers’ money in the hiking services of national parks, the local economy benefits over 10 euros, on average. For national parks located next to ski resorts, the average input-output ratio is still higher. Close to big cities and the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, the visitation impacts are primarily recreation and health benefits.
Results in 2022
The total income and job impacts of all the 41 national parks in 2022 were 275.2 million euros and about 2,166 jobs (full-time equivalent) and for all the 5 national hiking areas 12.0 million euros and about 104 jobs (FTE).
Year 2022, the national parks with biggest local economic impacts were Pallas–Yllästunturi National Park with 71.0 million euros, Urho Kekkonen National Park with 44.7 million euros, Oulanka National Park with 25.3 million euros, Koli National Park with 24.3 million euros and Pyhä–Luosto National Park with 18.3 million euros.
The biggest local economic impacts can be seen in tourism centres where the visitors stay for a longer period and the supply of tourism services is larger. In 2022, the visitation numbers in Nuuksio National Park in the Helsinki Metropolitan area were 306,700 and those in Koli National Park 251,400. Yet the local economic impacts were much more important in Koli which generated 24.3 million euros, whereas Nuuksio only 8.1 million euros.
- Local Economic Impacts of Finnish National Parks and Other Protected Areas Year 2022 (pdf, 138 Kb)
- Local Economic Impacts of Finnish National Parks and Other Protected Areas Year 2021 (pdf, 159 Kb)
- Local economic impacts were not calculated in detail in 2020 due to covid-19-pandemic
- Local Economic Impacts of Finnish National Parks and Other Protected Areas Year 2019 (pdf, 103 Kb)
- Vatanen, E. & Kajala, L. 2020. Update of multipliers used by the method assessing the local economic impacts of national parks, hiking areas and other protected areas valuable as nature tourism destinations, 2019. (In Finnish, summary in English; julkaisut.metsa.fi)
- Vähäsarja, V 2014. Assessment of the financial value of the health and well-being benefits of natural environments. (In Finnish, documentary page in English; julkaisut.metsa.fi)