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Ajankohtaista tietoa Espanjan matkailusta

Olemme keränneet Suomen matkailuelinkeinolle ajankohtaista tietoa, tulevaisuuden näkymiä ja muuta hyödyllistä materiaalia Espanjan matkailumarkkinasta. Englanninkielinen markkinakatsausmateriaali päivitetään kaksi kertaa vuodessa.

Updated August 2021

Finland's position in the market

Finland is well known as a winter destination in Spain, mainly Lapland area that is considered an expensive but unique destination offering a wide range of products comparing to our competitors. Nordic countries are trendy destinations in Spain; a great opportunity for Finland to develop and grow in all areas and to gain popularity as an all year round destination.

The pandemic has managed to reinforce the image of Finland as a Safe & Sustainable country, Unspoiled Nature-Cleanest air & water, Experience "Natural Luxury", Slow life in nature and "Room to roam".

Even though the travel from Spain to Finland is quite in balance between winter and summer, there are clear peak months in the overnights in Finland – December for the winter and July-August for the summer.

We are by far the first destination chosen by the Spaniards in winter and where Norway is the first option regarding summer. There are plenty of opportunities to develop our summer –autumn products in the market especially for Lakeland & Archipelago as part of our all year round offer. City breaks are also quite important when thinking of further development of Helsinki region, where culture and live like a local experience are the topics that arouse the most interest in the Spanish guests.

Finnair has recovered its operations from major cities all around Spain including Madrid, Barcelona, Alicante, Málaga, Balearic & Canary islands. Vueling also started direct flights between BCN and HEL last June. The restart to operate Norwegian flights to Finland is pending. Between December 2021 and January 2022 several charter flights from main cities in Spain including MAD/BCN will operate to KAO, IVL, KTT and RVN in Lapland. Almost 30% increase of these flights compared to the same period in 2019.

Our country brand is present in various different channels thanks to all the actions / activities that have been put in practice with our main local trade partners. We are also present in the main fairs for the B2B such as FITUR or IBTM. The scope of our coverage in the media (press, radio and TV) has increased exponentially in the last year thanks to the valuable collaboration of our local PR agency that provides great opportunities to promote Finland's brand and country image including interviews with the person in charge of Visit Finland's operations in Spain.

Consumer trends and behavior

Spaniards are longing for nature: in the last summer holidays there was a big growth of the "green Spain destinations" where nature, social distance and relaxation are the main USP´s.
Slow and sustainable tourism, visit small and medium sized cities, luxury tourism, health and wellbeing and of course nature experiences are the top trends for 2021.

Finland´s USP´s: Happiness & Calm / Forest & Nature / Wellbeing & Sauna / Sustainable & Responsible Travel match perfectly with future Spanish traveler needs after the pandemic.
Nordic lifestyle is trendy; take advantage to position Finland as the most sustainable & desirable destination within these countries. Culture & heritage, nature, big cities and wellness will be the most sought –after experiences once normality is restored.

According to the Braintrust's latest study, travel agencies will become very important after the health crisis caused by the coronavirus. For travelers, aspects such as safety, comfort, advice and treatment are the most valued factors according to this survey. The behavior of travelers will change, because they will demand more information and advice to help them make their trips more safely, and here the agencies are going to play a very important role.
The travel agency will become a unique and different channel where agents will put their knowledge and experience at the service of travelers, which will serve to give personal advice to ensure a safe trip.

The role of the travel agent will become more important than ever. Even new traveler profiles, such as young people, will turn to travel agencies in able to ensure that the essential health protocols are taken into account in the trip planning for national as well as international travels.

As for the channels used, there might be two different models: the concentration of distributors in large online groups, which may be joined by technological giants such as Amazon and Google, and greater weight of platforms and hybrid models such as Tripadvisor, Airbnb and Booking, and other similar ones that may arise. Second model would be the hyper-specialization of small operators in products or activities for more complex micro segments and markets.(i.e. luxury segment).

There will be an increase in tailor-made trips at the expense of tourist packages. Several experts predict the disappearance of some Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) and concentration on a few agencies, with a greater presence of direct marketing, that will take a piece of the pie.

Aspects such as insurance that guarantees the safety, healthy or potential contingencies during trips, cancellation and refund policies, together with total flexibility and personalization or 24-hour assistance are and will be, as European agents and intermediaries point out, the aspects in which travelers will give the greatest importance to. These will be the factors to boost the increase of reservations in short and medium term.

When targeting the Spanish audience, in order to fulfill their future guests expectations when visiting Finland, travel companies, as well as the private and public sector, need to adapt to the given main messages (i.e. sustainability).

Industry update and distribution channels

Spanish travel trade intermediation expects to work in a scenario where travel budgets will be reduced by 30% and 50%. In this regard, it is essential to understand the priorities and conditions of travelers when they decide on the destinations to which they will travel, to offer alternatives that optimize spending and give certainty to tourists.

FITUR, 3rd largest Tourism Fair in the world, is leading the return to secure face-to-face fairs worldwide through its unswerving commitment to the FITUR International Tourism Trade Fair was held in May, which brought together 5,000 companies and 63,000 attendees.

After going virtual in 2020 in response to the coronavirus pandemic, IBTM World 2021, the leading global event for the meetings and events industry, will return to the grounds of Fira Barcelona – Gran Via from 30 November to 2 December 2021. More than 3,000 exhibitors and 15,000 trade visitors will gather during the three days of the fair to generate leads, create valuable partnerships and exchange experience.

Visit Finland will host a face-to-face workshop in Madrid on 27.10.21 where our Finnish partners will have the chance to meet our local buyers.

CEAV, one of the main travel agency associations, promotes the digitization of its services among its partners because of the covid-19 crisis. Barceló and Globalia travel agencies resume to merger in autumn; this group will consist of 1500 points of sale throughout Spain. It is expected that after the covid crisis, there will be consolidation and specialization in the distribution channels. Travel agencies are accelerating the reopening; most of them are already opened since mid-June.

About 90% of travel agency employees have been affected by a temporary employment regulation file that the government has just extended until September 31st 2021. Most of the offer to Finland by Spanish travel trade actors is concentrated on large tour operators, whose products are mainly related to Lapland in winter season.

However, in the last 3 years, new business opportunities have been created, including OTAs and small tour operators specialized in the luxury segment and adventure travel and activities. It should also be noted that they have even suggested new players in the market whose main development strategy is based on sustainability and digitization and that they match perfectly with the Finnish tourism offer in the Spanish market.

Since 2018, the diversification in the B2B channels has also created new business opportunities for the travel agencies in Spain, as they seek to develop innovative non-mass productsthe development of innovative non-mass products that lead to the seasonal adjustment of our destination and promote the tourist offer of other regions in Finland such as Lakeland, the Archipelago and Helsinki region also helping to promote Finland as an all year round destination and not just in winter mainly Lapland.

DMCs and incoming agencies play an essential role in developing Finland's potential in the Spanish market. The prominent role of these companies is accentuated taking into account the strategy of seasonal adjustment and sustainability carried out at Visit Finland.

There is a latent demand to our destination that has not been able to materialize, due to entry restrictions to Finland and the evolution of the pandemic. Fortunately since last June, Finnair has announced the reestablishment of its main routes from Spain for the summer and the outlook for the winter season is optimistic, recovering even to pre-pandemic levels. In fact, there are more charter operations scheduled for the year 2021 than there were in 2019.

Finland travel USP's

Nature, together with the pursuit of "Finnish happiness", are the main strengths of our offering as a travel destination. Nevertheless we cannot forget that sustainability and responsible travel have gained a lot of strength during the pandemic. Santa Claus is one of the icons that has attracted the most to the Spanish travelers for many years. The Lapland region is undoubtedly the best-known area in Finland for the Spanish market.

Main USP´s in the Spanish market:
• Strong consolidated winter image in the market
• Quite positive country perception: reliable, safe (social distance guaranteed), reputable education, clean air & water-#FinlandWorks
• "Natural Luxury" –Unique experiences in nature.
• Finland as a sustainable leading country in the Nordics.

Finland is number one in terms of winter destination among the Nordic countries, thanks to its complete tourist offer and strengths. Connection with nature and the attractiveness of Santa Claus continue to be the two unique and differentiating arguments that motivate the future Spanish visitor to travel to Finland. Undoubtedly, these USP's are very powerful sales arguments when deciding which destination to visit in the Nordic countries.

In addition to Lapland in winter, there is a great potential for further development of other geographical areas in Finland all year round and not only in winter. And that's where other USP's come into play, such as being the country of lakes and sustainability as an axis of development not only for the tourism industry but also as the Finnish lifestyle: live like a local experiences.

Luxury, Culture & Lifestyle, Outdoor activities & Sports, Wellbeing & sauna are the strongest themes in the Spanish market.

There is no doubt that the interest towards sustainability and the enthusiasm of people to travel again after more than a year of pandemic has increased exponentially, it would not be realistic to consider sustainability as the main reason for the future visitor from Spain to choose their next destination. Therefore we must be able to adapt to the market and model our message on sustainability, taking into account that the Spanish market is not as mature in this regard, compared to other Central European markets.

Future outlook and upcoming season

As for product segments and once normality is restored, the most sought-after experiences among Spanish travelers in domestic and international travel will be culture and heritage, nature, big cities, and wellness.

According to a study conducted in June 2020, the majority of Spaniards were willing to change some of their travel habits after the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, more than 60 percent of those surveyed stated that they would give more importance to less crowded destinations and to accommodation with maximum hygienic guarantees.

The upcoming season looks quite promising for Finland as number of flight operations to Lapland this winter have increased compared to the same period in 2019. If the evolution of the pandemic and the restrictions on entry to Finland allow it, we hope to reach the business levels prior to the pandemic.

The luxury segment/product has proliferated compared to pre-pandemic times, thus becoming a flagship product for specialized tour operators.

In addition, new players have emerged in the B2B world, basing their strategy on sustainability and digitization matching perfectly with the tourist offer of Finland in Spain.

Other interesting product offers for the future Spanish visitor that are based on the main themes, such as the cultural offer, outdoor activities all year round or products related to well-being and sauna, have a future development path in the coming years.

Based on the main topics and products with the development potential mentioned above, we hope that the axis of sustainability will gain importance in the coming years and become eventually the main reason that drives Spaniards to travel to Finland.

Our target groups are framed within the strategy that we have designed for the Spanish market until 2023. We believe that they are very aligned with our tourist offer and the interests of Spanish travelers, when choosing Finland as destination for their next vacation.

Without a doubt, the luxury sector has an important development potential, as well as nature related products and outdoor activities, and experiences in coexistence with the inhabitants of the country to discover their culture.

 

 

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Account Manager

Heli Saari

+358 40 564 2780

Ruotsi, Ranska, Espanja

Sales & Marketing Manager

David Campano

+34 634 718 855

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