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Ajankohtaista tietoa Ison-Britannian matkailusta

Olemme keränneet Suomen matkailuelinkeinolle ajankohtaista tietoa, tulevaisuuden näkymiä ja muuta hyödyllistä materiaalia Isosta-Britanniasta matkailumarkkinana. Englanninkielinen markkinakatsausmateriaali päivitetään kaksi kertaa vuodessa

Updated October 2022

Finland's position in the market

Finnish Lapland remains the most popular choice for a Winter holiday in the Nordics. Denmark and Sweden are the most popular choices for the summer holidays in the Nordics.

The UK holds the top market for the winter season 21-22 with 278,000 overnights from December to February 22. The UK is by far the 4th biggest source market in Finland, with over 206 000 British overnights from January to August 2022. In 2019 the UK was the 3rd biggest market after Russia and Germany. The cumulative overnights for this year are 31% below the levels of Jan-August 2019. The overnights for September are 18,400, still -30% below 2019 levels.

Finnair is the most popular scheduled carrier to Finland from the UK and flights returned to normal with flights daily from LHR, MAN and EDI. Norwegian started to serve daily flights to Helsinki from LGW in April 2022.

Ryanair continued its direct flights to both Helsinki and Tampere from STN which greatly improved accessibility. Winter Ryanair are flying to Rovaniemi and EasyJet's direct flights to Rovaniemi also resume from November to March 2023. TUI has increased its UK regional capacity during the winter and Jet2.

Most of the seating capacity was from London Heathrow, however, with all the airports combined it was still -25% compared to 2019.

Media and PR activities from January to August, there were 1389 hits, with a total brand-building effect of 2.1 billion and a total publicity value of 7 million. The highest Brand Building Effect was recorded in April (292 million) of which the largest part derives from the hits in the UK media, namely The Guardian. Brand Building Effect, a composite of Reach and visibility Score, means coverage in high-reach publications. Nearly 60% of the BBE in Q2 derived from the coverage in the UK.  

Consumer trends and behavior

UK consumer confidence remains around a 50-year low in September. Britons face uncertainty with soaring inflation rates of 9.9, political turmoil and high borrowing costs. Food inflation rose to 15% in September, the highest since 1989 when records began.UK wages are not keeping up with inflation and the spending confidence index was very low in October 2022. It is reported by Which, that two in three households are making at least one adjustment to cover essential spending, including cutting back on spending, food, dipping into savings, and selling possessions. Hospitality and retail like cinemas and restaurants fell sharply. Britons are expected to spend £4.4bn less on essentials ahead of Christmas.

In terms of travel Britons are not ready to cut back on their travel plans. ABTA has reported that travel remains a spending priority despite the cost-of-living crisis. Spain, France, Italy, and the US were the most popular destinations and beach holidays have been the most sought-after. Travel is also high in the top priorities for HNW and UHNW travellers. Britons are now planning their holidays and booking with longer lead times again since the pandemic. Travel companies and agents are still popular for peace of mind and group travel with multi-generational travel is increasing. There is an increase in longer stays and lots of exploration and cultural activities within the destination. Cruises, wellness, eco-friendly and positively impacting, purposeful travel. Bucket list holidays are in demand, Northern lights made number one in a recent survey conducted by Audley Travel UK, a premium operator based in Oxfordshire.

Consumers are looking for 'room to roam' and the pure nature and culture that Finland offers. Even though the media paints a sombre picture for UK consumers it is important to remember that there is a good quality of living in the UK still and travel is top of mind. Brits would rather sacrifice clothing and eating out than holidays. Also, crucial to remember there will be an even bigger split between those with lower budgets looking for a cheaper package holiday and those HNW travellers looking to splurge.

Industry update and distribution channels

The travel industry is getting busier and back to normal with bookings. The recruitment drive is high and there is plenty of work for experienced travel professionals. Sales teams are increasing again, and many companies are opting for a hybrid model of working for the industry. Travel agencies are still in demand with travellers looking for advice and peace of mind with their holidays. Travel agencies are charging a booking fee or increasing their fees for this service. Events and Incentive agencies are also getting back to a normal routine and seeing an increase in international events and incentives.

Key TO's that are operating in Finland are TUI (including TUI Crystal Ski), and Hotelplan (Inghams, Santa's Lapland brands). Canterbury Travels and Destinology, (both part of Brooklyn Travel group), Artisan Travel Company with brands (Aurora Zone, Activities Abroad), Transun. Other key ones include Magic of Lapland, Best Served Scandinavia, Discover the World, Arctic Direct, Regent Holidays, Exodus, Baltic Travel, Nordic Experience and Trailfinders.

The role of DMCs for the travel companies remains important, especially to the smaller TOs and those less experienced with Finland as a destination. Luxury travel companies rely more than ever on the DMC to have a high level of customer service as well as provide all areas of Finland and other Nordic countries.

In terms of flight accessibility, Ryanair continues flying daily from London Stanstead to Helsinki and twice weekly to Tampere. Ryanair is also flying from London Stanstead to Rovaniemi for the winter season four times a week from November to March 2023. Charter flights are also increased from TUI to bring in travellers to Finnish Lapland directly from UK regional airports.

Finland travel USP's

The most relevant USPs in the UK market are Santa Claus – The Ambassador of goodwill from Finland, easy access to the Forest, and Live like a Finn. Responsible travel is the freedom to travel. Digital demand Q1 and 2 showed a healthy increase in Brits looking for saunas, cities, and things to do and glass cabins remained popular. Finland owns Santa and the glass cabin for the UK market. We are working on ways to push knowledge of the Finnish sauna with Finland's heritage and rituals. These USPs do drive market planning and Finnish Sauna also relates to the major regions of Finland such as Lakeland, and the Sauna also pushes the Summer and travel all year round.

Northern lights are a major USP for Britons travelling to Lapland, however, there is still some brand awareness needed and there is competition from other Nordic countries.

Luxury is a major theme and luxury travel to Finland is growing in the UK. The demand is matching nicely with the increase in luxury Finnish products. Sustainability is important to UK travellers, and it is key to every activity we do in the UK

Future outlook and upcoming season

The season is looking promising. The UK is currently in the second position with overnights, Germany first and the UK is bridging the gap from 2019.

The booking window has increased for many travellers, however, there are still many last-minute bookings. The season is selling well still, and some operators have run out of their allocation already, so they are finding it a challenge to book any further clients in the peak season.

Summer in Finland is a major focus for the foreseeable future, and we have had a positive start with new product development for existing operators who traditionally book Finnish Lapland and winter season products in Finland. Fly drives, Lakeland, and the archipelago of interest. Enquiries are coming in for biking and hiking tours both guided and self-guided. Group tour operators are also seeking more products.

Luxury travel products are the most sought-after and the luxury travel manual has been well-received by premium operators and agents.

The current target groups are salient and convey the key leisure travellers from the UK. 'Comfort Seekers', City Breakers and nature seekers define well UK leisure small groups and individuals in Finland.

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Päivi Hobbs

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Caroline Beaton-Moscatelli

Iso-Britannia ja Irlanti