Olemme keränneet Suomen matkailuelinkeinolle ajankohtaista tietoa, tulevaisuuden näkymiä ja muuta hyödyllistä materiaalia Isosta-Britanniasta matkailumarkkinana. Englanninkielinen markkinakatsausmateriaali päivitetään kaksi kertaa vuodessa
Updated August 2021
Finland is well known to British travellers as the home of Santa Claus and Finnish Lapland is a popular, mainstream winter destination. Finland is also a strongly considered for Northern lights, unique accommodation and winter activities. The UK is in the top six countries of origin in all four seasons. In 2019 there was a 39% increase in travel related internet searches to Finland. Travel from the UK to Finland has virtually stopped since April 2020 when the UK lockdown started. The pandemic has strengthened winter 21/22 due to postponing the previous winter season when the borders were shut.
Finland's share of UK visitors among the Nordic countries was 16% in 2019. Finland is number one in the UK as the top winter destination in the Nordics, surpassing Iceland in 2019. Iceland and Norway are also popular in the winter months. More than 80% of British travellers travel to Lapland in the winter. During the summer season Sweden and Denmark are the most popular destinations in the Nordic countries. Finland's share of 2019 summer season was only 9%.
Finland is accessed from the UK by Finnair, who provide direct services to Helsinki up to 3 times daily from London Heathrow, Manchester and less frequently from Edinburgh. This year Finnair be flying indirectly to KTT and IVO. Instead flights will connect via HEL. EasyJet is flying directly to RVN from LGW November to March 21 with additional MAN flights December. Norwegian we are waiting to hear more regarding their flight route for the winter. TUI fly charters UK regionally to access KTT, IVL, KUO, and RVN. Extra charters regionally to ENF for day Santa trips.
Finland is visible in the UK market to some extent. We have had some recent TV coverage, the most prominent being back in 2019 on 'The Apprentice'. In 2020 'World's most scenic Railway journeys', which was broadcast on channel 5 and Gordon, Gino & Fred Santa broadcasted on ITV Christmas 2020. Both TV series can be streamed online via their player options. There are talks currently with Grand Tour Productions who are filming a road trips around the Nordics for Amazon Prime. In terms of print media coverage, social media, good exposure from press releases Visit Finland and embassy, Team Finland. Operators are proactively sharing news via social, consumer and trade print media.
When it comes to consumer trends, British travellers are seeking wide open spaces and remote locations. Nature and adventure activities explored by car, campervan or train. Sustainable travel is top of mind, this is not only how travellers get to the destination and what hotels, activities they choose, but travelling as a force for good, seeking out green brands and experiences, supporting local businesses and hands-on work. Exploring culture whether indigenous or through learning with local family stays. Wellness is important travel to reconnect with with themselves in the physical and mental space. To enjoy the traditional spas and also outdoor meditations, yoga, digital detox. Bucket list holidays. 'Workations', (the idea of both working and travelling) is growing in popularity, due to British companies now adopting homeworking as standard in the workplace.
Brits have spent so much time in their homes, so now there is a real hunger to travel and thirst to explore more, have some excitement and fun. As soon as there is a country that opens its borders there is an influx of bookings and albeit last minute so not to avoid disappointment with changing traffic lights from the UK government and forced quarantine stipulations. Brits are searching on the internet for holidays, looking through papers, social media and blogs. Research by ABTA at the beginning of July 21 has found that holidaymakers are 25% more likely to book with a travel professional now than before the pandemic, the main reasons were security of a package holiday and trusting the travel professionals will look after them. This is good news for travel agents and operators in the UK. There has been a current downturn in OTA bookings abroad, however increase UK staycation bookings. Manchester based 'On the Beach' has raised millions to help ride the storm and offer greater flexibility and resilience, moving in to the new normal of travel.
UK consumers will want to see borders open and easy access to the destination. They will be curious about lesser known places to travel and certainly with the room to roam will be interested to see what there is to see and do in Finland this winter and for the spring/Summer seasons 2022. Consumers have more money than ever saved, so will be searching beyond their means for more premium options and upgrades. To get inspiration, as well as searching the traditional travel websites and print media publications. Video is king in the UK. Social media and YouTube share holiday videos. It is worth noting the sharp rise of TikTok - 13 million users in the UK, mainly younger millennials and Gen Z at the moment and older following of 6 million using Reddit, a few times a day. Many Brits look to travel influencers with insightful blogs, imagery and video. Over the past 12 months, listeners have become more dependent and connected with audio for means of entertainment and companionship Radio and podcasts are very popular, especially with the older demographics. Finland can best serve UK travellers by providing intensive information/video online throughout the customer journey and leading with technology and apps during their stay. High service levels in Finland are desired by British travellers.
The UK travel industry has been under extreme pressure since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. Many companies have had to make staff redundant or be put on the Furlough government scheme, which pays 80% of the total employees' wages. That said, the key players that operate volume to Finland are still operating. Most travel companies are reviewing their product offering, cutting back on tours and services thus focusing on their bestselling holidays. Lapland has sold exceptionally well with many trips postponed from 2020 winter season and many new bookings. New Fly-drives and wellness breaks added. There is a shift of interest in the luxury market, some that traditionally don't include the Nordics or short haul. Ultimate luxury and Lifestyle membership clubs that service travel for the financial service sectors.
The biggest TO's that are operating to Finland are TUI (including TUI Crystal Ski), Hotelplan (Inghams, Santa's Lapland brands). Canterbury Travels (part of Brooklyn group), Artisan Travel Company, Transun. Other key ones include Magic of Lapland, Best Served Scandinavia, Discover the World, Arctic Direct and Regent Holidays.
The main operators are, or are looking at partnering with travel agencies, due to their rise in popularity, as well as marketing their operations regionally around the UK and increasing their customer base. DMC's play an important role and for many of the smaller and luxury operators a DMC in Finland provides a vital role in holiday arrangements and more importantly to deliver high customer service levels. The more established TO's will contract certain accommodations directly and provide their own representatives in resort, especially Ski operators and Finland specialists.
Ryanair will commence 7 flights a week from November to from London Stanstead to Helsinki. Ryanair will also fly twice weekly to Tampere. Currently speaking to the main rail operators about expanding routes in Finland for 22/23.
The most relevant USP's in the UK market are Santa Claus – The Ambassador of goodwill from Finland, easy access to Forest, Live like a Finn. Responsible travel is freedom to travel. In terms of the main regional USP's Lapland has the leading USP's, which relate to the UK market well. Finland clearly owns Santa Claus, however it's worth noting that some UK operators still sell Santa holidays to Sweden. Finland has done well to educate globally about the Finnish Sauna and there was a rise of 16.5% searches by British consumers in 2020.
The selling points are relatively strong and a good base in which to start with planning market strategy. For the UK market, Finnish gastronomy and unique accommodations could be strong regional USP's. Sustainability, Luxury, nature, outdoors and culture are robust themes for the UK market. Sustainability is key to everything we do in the UK, as it's such an important consideration for British consumers.
There has been surge of new holiday bookings since the government fully lifted the restrictions in the UK July 19th. The trend to book last minute has still been popular with booking.com reporting over 144% increases when a country gets added to the green list or borders restrictions lift. Brits are still nervous about the pandemic, testing, so a surge in staycations for Summer 21 is pushing up the prices. Brits are looking to book direct flights, stay longer and splurge on both accommodation, experiences and spending. It is estimated that 250 billion pounds has been saved over the pandemic by the Brits that retained their incomes. Group travel such as multi-generational travel and small group bubbles that were formed during lockdown are on the rise.
The upcoming season looks extremely positive for December in Finnish Lapland, this is due to the demand for the winter wonderland Santa holiday as well as postponed breaks from last season. Smaller companies have reported over 1 million in revenue for December. Operators are running out of allocation and do not require any marketing support, however there still might be some opportunities to support shoulder periods during the winter season. Winter weddings in Lapland, luxury small group incentives, workations and increased product for fly-drives, car and motorhome are some of the new product offerings.
The current target groups are salient and convey the key leisure travellers from the UK. 'Comfort Seekers' could be broken down in to smaller target groups, such as Ultimate luxury/Bucket list travellers, to segment the increasing demand from both the affordable from the Uber luxury comfort seekers.
Iso-Britannia ja Irlanti