Olemme keränneet Suomen matkailuelinkeinolle ajankohtaista tietoa, tilastoja ja muuta hyödyllistä materiaalia USA:sta matkailumarkkinana.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for Finland due to COVID-19. Level 3 - Reconsider Travel: Avoid travel due to serious risks to safety and security. The Department of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas in the Travel Advisory. Conditions in any country may change at any time.
The US State Department has issued the following advisory regarding travel to Europe: If you are planning to visit or travel through Europe, we urge you to check the websites of the relevant U.S. embassies or consulates for information on restrictions, foreign quarantine policies, and urgent health information provided by relevant authorities. Some European countries currently prohibit entry by tourists and other non-essential travelers. We recommend that you visit the websites of those countries' embassies in the United States for additional information including entry/exit restrictions and permissible categories of travel.
Quarantine rules: The Center for Disease Control and Prevention advises to social distance after traveling with these guidelines.
-When around others, stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms' length) from other people who are not from your household. It is important to do this everywhere, both indoors and outdoors.
-Wear a mask to keep your nose and mouth covered when you are outside of your home.
-Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol).
-Watch your health and look for symptoms of COVID-19. Take your temperature if you feel sick.
-Follow state, territorial, tribal and local recommendations or requirements after travel.
Individual states (for example New York State) may have stricter procedures and require 14 days quarantine / self isolation after travel.
Flight connections: Finnair has not yet resumed direct flights from the US to Finland. We also need to closely look at the other One World Airlines and the options they provide. American Airlines and British Airways have been operating flights from New York to London Heathrow and American Airlines has been flying from their major hub Dallas to London as well. Those flight connections will continue and hopefully we will be seeing more Oneworld connections to Europe later this year. We should also monitor how the SAS and Icelandair´s US network is reopened.
Safety, sanitazion, cleanliness and healthcare available in the destination will be major factors for the US travelers once they can travel again. Airlines are also expected to execute procedures that ensure safe travel. Especially older US travelers may not want to travel until there is a vaccine. Majority of the Americans are worried about the general uncertainty of the COVID-19 situation.
US Index of Consumer Sentiment is at a current level of 80.40 (October 2, 2020), up from 74.10 in September and down from 93.20 one year ago. This is a change of 8.50% from previous month and -13.73% from one year ago.US Real GDP Growth is at -31.40% (October 2020), compared to -5.00% last quarter and 1.50% last year.
Remains to be seen what is the impact of the presidential election result to the US economy. Presidential election will be held on November 3, 2020.
FIT travel will be growing and in escorted tours the group sizes will be smaller. It is possible that there will be more interest in mono-destination tours vs multi-country tours. Travelers are choosing the service providers based on most flexible terms. Interest towards nature based travel is growing.
First ones to start to travel internationally and long haul from the US are the high end travelers and especially FIT travelers and small private groups (families, friends). Domestically and within the Americas the first ones to start to travel will be the younger generations and very affluent travelers who can afford private jet trips.
No leisure travel from the US during summer 2020.
Based on current pandemic situation, it looks like that the travel from US to Finland will not be possible until summer 2021 unless Finnish government eases up the restrictions to enable travel from the US to Finland Q1 2021 (winter season). It also good to remember that in the US there are travel agencies and clients who are looking for destinations with private jet travel.
Trends & opportunities
- Nature based experiences
- Winter wonderland and northern lights experiences
- Special accomodations
- Local culture
- Finland´s geographical location close to Scandinavia, the Baltics and Russia.
According to the US Tour Operator Association survey (August 2020), more than a third (38%) of tour operators have seen and an increase in bookings during July and August. Another third (38%) have seen no change in bookings during this timeframe, with the remaining 24% reporting a decrease in bookings. This shows a decline in momentum of new bookings. When asked in June, roughly double (64% of tour operators) were reporting an increase in bookings.
Three fourths (79%) are reporting travel bookings for the third quarter of 2021, while another three fourths (76%) report passenger bookings for second quarter of 2021. Half (52%) report new bookings being made for Q4 2021 travel and one third (33%) say they have received bookings for Q1 2021 travel. Roughly 31% of members report new passenger bookings for 2022. Nearly three fourths (73%) of traveler bookings are to international destinations.
Based on June survey, 79% target a 55+ demographic however many cited a post COVID-19 change in their target demographic to a younger audience citing fears of older passengers being less eager to travel again so quickly or having longer term concerns over health and wellness. Many have reported, at least temporarily, targeting younger travelers than usual.
Tour operators have reported that majority of Europe tours have been rebooked to same destinations, so not cancelled or moved to other destinations. New bookings are for tours in Americas mainly and they are mostly beach holidays.
The message from tour operators also was that right now it would be very helpful for them to get information and guidelines from destinations and suppliers:
- When is travel possible?
- Is the destination ready to welcome back?
- What is the resident sentiment towards travellers?
- What safety regulations and sanitazion protocols are implemented or planned in the destination (hotels, transportation, restaurants, other services).
- What has changed in the destination? Are the same services available as before crisis?
- Honesty and transparency is important.
- Flexible cancellation and change policies (same policies for everyone).
The tour operators have revised their terms & conditions to better reflect the current situation.
Interesting products in winter: Northern lights, glass igloos and aurora cabins, snow activities for high end FIT and small groups.
Interesting products in summer: FIT and small group tours combining city, culture and nature.