Olemme keränneet Suomen matkailuelinkeinolle ajankohtaista tietoa, tulevaisuuden näkymiä ja muuta hyödyllistä materiaalia Isosta-Britanniasta matkailumarkkinana. Englanninkielinen markkinakatsausmateriaali päivitetään kaksi kertaa vuodessa
Updated March 2022
Traditionally, Finland is known as a Winter destination, a land of snow and ice, lakes, forests. Clean and safe, but expensive. Northern lights and extraordinary accommodations. The UK had a good Lapland Winter season for 2021, over 177k monthly nights spent, making it the number one source market to Lapland, Finland. A total number of nights in Finland 257,100 in 2021, a 53% increase YoY, but -55% vs 2019. Finland has retained its number one position in the UK as the top winter destination in the Nordics, despite the surge of postponed and new bookings to Winter Lapland was extremely positive despite the travel restrictions and testing measures in December. Norway, Denmark and Sweden were the top choices for Summer trips.
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. Norwegian is flying directly to Helsinki, with daily flights from April 2022. Ryanair started flying from London Stansted to Helsinki daily and Tampere twice a week from the end of November.
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 and repeated heavily in 2021. Both TV series can be streamed online via their streaming options. Recently Winter Finland has been featured in December on UK TV channels. Greg Wallace 'Grand Christmas Adventure', and '23 Kids and counting', Christmas special. Gordon Ramsey's 'Unchartered' Finland episode is being streamed on Disney plus.
In terms of print media coverage, social media, there is ongoing exposure from various sources, press releases Visit Finland and embassy, press visits paid for marketing, Team Finland UK. Consumer sites like Visit Lapland on Facebook are popular. Operators are both proactively and paid for sharing news via social, consumer and trade print media
According to the Nationwide Spending Report, Brits spent more money at the start of 2022 with consumer spending in January up 18% year-on-year, despite the current rising cost of living. It said non-essential spending dramatically increased by 43% as people booked holidays, flights and cruises for 2022. The report, which analysed nearly 200 million debit and credit card and direct debit transactions, shows just over £7.5 billion was spent by the building society's members in January.
The pandemic has changed the usual travel booking patterns, to last-minute bookings, longer stays, and flexibility, which is key with the outbreaks of variants. In a travel zoo survey, 81% of travellers are thinking of taking an international trip to a new destination. City breaks and Cultural travel are among the top 3 types of trips. Wellness, nature, adventure holidays are still popular. Once in a lifetime, bucket trips are still popular and nostalgic trips of revisiting such good holiday memories. Bookings with Tour Operators and travel agents are higher than ever. Travel agents can offer travellers peace of mind with their booking and money received and also help with the ever-changing and often complex travel restrictions and requirements.
Consumers will look for lesser-known city breaks and nature holidays that could help Finland's summer months. To best serve the UK traveller is to communicate with them throughout, they know what to expect, especially in these times we are living in and there is also a friendly and good level of service. Anything that is value-added to your product offering will be an advantage.
The travel industry has remained buoyant despite the new variants and tightened restrictions. Most companies have had to downsize, lose their head office, and review product offerings. Travel agencies are now more popular and TO's that have smaller sales teams are now turning to travel agents to support sales.
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 role of DMC's for the UK is very important still, especially to the smaller TO's and those less experienced with Finland as a destination. Ryanair started flying daily from London Stanstead to Helsinki and twice weekly to Tampere.
The most relevant USPs in the UK market are Santa Claus – The Ambassador of goodwill from Finland, easy access to Forest, Live like a Finn. Responsible travel is the freedom to travel. In terms of the main regional USPs Lapland has the leading USPs, which relate to the UK market well. Northern Lights and extraordinary accommodation push the shoulder season sales.
Sustainability, Luxury, nature, outdoors and culture are robust themes for the UK market. Sustainability is key to everything we do in the UK. From a TO perspective, there is so much pent up travel demand, there are some consumers that are not taking sustainable travel as a major priority.
The main trends of lesser-known countries, short-haul cities, wellness and nature are strong trends.
Forward bookings to Finland seem to reach the pre-pandemic level in June 2022, supported with direct flight accessibility from both Finnair and low-cost airlines to Helsinki, including Norwegian operating a full service daily from London Gatwick from April 1 and Ryanair.
Tour operators are looking at the Summer in Finland for new product development. Fly-drives, Lakeland and archipelago of interest. Self-guided tours from the more niche, adventure travel companies. The luxury offerings in Finland are in demand for accommodation and tours.
The current target groups are salient and convey the key leisure travellers from the UK. 'Comfort Seekers', City Breakers, Family travellers, nature seekers define well UK leisure small groups and individuals to Finland. According to our UK TOs and agents, the Winter season 22/23 is also selling well already.
Regarding the war in Ukraine, there has been no communication from the travel industry to enquire or to raise any cause of concern. The FCDO is the industry go-to for all official foreign travel advice. Some TOs reported a few travellers cancelling bookings in March, however, the main cause of the cancellation is still related to Covid-19. It is still too early to see and predict how bookings to Finland will be directly affected, however, we are monitoring the situation closely.
Iso-Britannia ja Irlanti