Wealthy Finns to fly to Istanbul to warm up .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;} .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;} ISTANBUL - This year, Istanbul will be flooded with Finns seeking to escape the cold and gloomy atmosphere of their home country as 34,000 head to the city to spend up big.

According to the Touristic Hotels, Managers and Investors Association, or TUROB, 60 percent of Finland’s population prefer to spend their holidays abroad.

Finland’s income per capita is 22,621 euros per year and on average Finnish tourists spend around 800 euros in Turkey during their time here. Compared to other Scandinavians, the Finnish spend the most in Turkey.

Young Finns travel overseas

Finns travel at least once a year regardless of their income group, according to TUROB. Most overseas travelers are young, but tourists between the ages of 35 to 65 spend more.

Around 62 percent of tourists prefer the sea, sun and sand while 19 percent travel to play golf, have a spa holiday or to view religious sites. Of the total Finnish travelers, 12 percent take short journeys over the weekend while 7 percent are cultural travelers and stay away longer.

In 2008, 5 million Finns traveled abroad and the number taking overseas trips has risen each year.

The number of Finnish tourists visiting Istanbul increased from 20,000 to 26,000 within a year and this year, the number of tourists is expected to increase to 34,000. Turkish Airlines has increased its number of Istanbul to Helsinki flights, and Finnair will also increase flights after March, both of which are considered important moves for Turkish tourism. Istanbul also expects Finns to arrive for Formula 1 races that will take place from June 5 to 7.