FSD2331 Second Home Tourism in Finnish Lake District 2004

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  • Hiltunen, Mervi Johanna (University of Joensuu. Savonlinna Centre for Continuing Education and Regional Development)
  • Kokki, Ruut (University of Joensuu. Savonlinna Centre for Continuing Education and Regional Development)
  • Pitkänen, Kati (University of Joensuu. Savonlinna Centre for Continuing Education and Regional Development)
  • Vepsäläinen, Mia (University of Joensuu. Savonlinna Centre for Continuing Education and Regional Development)


holidays, housing, leisure time, leisure time activities, metropolitan areas, natural environment, neighbourhoods, second homes, telework, travel


The survey charted the use and importance of second housing from the viewpoint of second home owners living in the Helsinki region. Second housing in Finland is a large phenomenon with deep historical and cultural roots, and it represents a significant part of domestic tourism. In this survey, the term "second home" refers to rural recreational residences (holiday homes) mainly used during weekends and holidays, especially during summertime. The key themes of the survey included travelling between and life at the first and second homes, and the use of second homes.

First, the respondents were asked to give some background information on their second homes, such as its size, standard of equipment, whether it suitable for winter habitation, and whether the respondents had purchased, inherited or built it. The distance between the second home and various services, such as town, grocery store, health centre and bus stop was queried. Travelling between the first and second homes was canvassed by asking the respondents to estimate the number of trips made to the second home and the number of days spent there for each month of the year. The distance to the second home, as well as the time spent and the means of transport used for travelling there were also examined. In addition, the respondents were asked whether they usually stop on the way to the second home and for what reason. The reason for travelling to the second home was also investigated.

Further questions pertained to the time spent at the second home. The respondents estimated whether they would like to spend more time there, how they were going to use the second home during the next 5-10 years, which factors prevented the respondents from spending more time there, and who would most likely own the second home after they no longer use it themselves. Some questions focused on remote work, and the respondents also told whether someone in their household commuted from the second home. They listed the advantages and disadvantages of the municipality in which their second home was located, and indicated whether they would be willing to use the municipal services (e.g. health services, social services, broadband Internet access) in that municipality, as well as whether they would be ready to pay for these services.

Life at the respondents' first and second homes was charted by asking them to list advantages and disadvantages of living in the capital area as well as in a second home in a rural area. In addition, the respondents were presented with a list of words (e.g. haste, nature, family, freedom, Finnishness) which they had to associate with either of the aforementioned environments. They were also asked to close their eyes, think about life at their second home and tell about it. Finally, the respondents were asked whether they had responded to the survey by themselves or together with other family members. In addition, they were encouraged to write down thoughts and opinions aroused by the survey.

Background variables included the respondent's gender, household composition, number of household members, household gross income, and type and size of the first home. In addition, the respondent's and spouse's year of birth, education, and employment type were charted.

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