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251,000 notify govt about traveling abroad in 2019

Spain, Thailand, Turkey recorded Finns’ most traveling destinations

Published : 20 Jan 2020, 01:05

Updated : 20 Jan 2020, 01:08

  DF Report

Photo Source Finavia.

 About 251,000 Finns notified the government about their traveling to abroad last year, said an official press release.

The people registered their travel details at matkustusilmoitus.fi, a service maintained by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

The most common travel destinations registered were Spain, Thailand and Turkey.

In the event of a crisis situation of some kind, the Ministry sends information and guidance to those who had submitted travel details indicating they could be in the area affected.

In 2019, there were 142 such crisis situations, most of which involved natural disasters.

“You should make it a regular habit before each trip abroad that you read the relevant travel bulletin, file a travel notification and take out travel insurance. In particular, it's worth being prepared for dealing with unexpected events and thinking about what you should do in such instances,” said  Antti Putkonen, Director of the Consular Affairs Unit.

In 2019, almost 251,000 travellers registered at matkustustilmoitus.fi. The number of notifications has remained around the same level in the past few years.

Crises or other emergencies can occur anywhere in the world. The Ministry is able to send information and advice to you in such cases if you have submitted your travel details. In 2019, this was done in a total of 142 crises and emergencies. A text message is sent to the phone number given in the travel notification. The majority of the messages were sent because of a natural disaster or exceptional weather conditions.

In most cases, of course, travelling abroad goes according to plan. However, if consular assistance is needed, the primary duty of Finnish diplomatic missions is to give advice and help people handle matters independently.

“Unfortunately, you may also fall ill or become a victim of a crime, which is why comprehensive travel insurance should be taken out to provide security. Embassies and consulates will help you if necessary, issuing a new passport for example, but travel insurance provides important security in a great many situations,” Putkonen said.

In 2019, Finnish missions abroad issued 19,046 new passports and 2,787 identity cards.

In 2019, the Foreign Ministry’s Unit for Consular Assistance assisted in the repatriation of 593 deceased persons.

Compared to previous years, there was a decrease in the number of victims of crime (121) and those in need of assistance in the event of illness (394), and in the number of arrested and detained Finns (221). In such situations, too, comprehensive travel insurance will make it easier to manage the situation.

 As in previous years, the majority of consular cases were recorded in Spain, Germany, Estonia, Thailand and Sweden, which are the countries most frequently visited by Finns.