Olemme keränneet Suomen matkailuelinkeinolle ajankohtaista tietoa, tulevaisuuden näkymiä ja muuta hyödyllistä materiaalia USA:sta matkailumarkkinana. Englanninkielinen markkinakatsausmateriaali päivitetään kaksi kertaa vuodessa.
Updated March 2022
Although the awareness of Finland has been growing in the US during the past three years, Finland is still behind the other Nordic destinations in awareness in the US (compared to Iceland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark). Finland interests in the US both as winter and summer destination. In 2020 USA ranked as third biggest source market in all digital searches about Finland. The most searched tag words in the US related to Finland were: saunas, northern lights, cities, igloo hotels.
Current situation with Russian's aggressions in the Ukraine may temporarily raise some concern with some end consumers about the safety in our region as Finland is not a NATO country. However, unless the aggressions expand to other countries, the crisis situation is mostly considered local affecting Ukraine only. It is important that in all our communications towards the travelers and the travel trade, we convey the message that in Finland we do "business as usual".
Finnair currently non stop flights to/from several gateway cities in the US: New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas and Miami (seasonal winter flight) and will launch a seasonal non stop summer flight to Seattle June 1, 2022. The available seat capacity from the US to Finland is currently over 60 % bigger than in 2019 and there is a lot of untapped potential in this market for Finland and Finnish tourism service providers.
Several major US tour operators are already selling Finland only winter packages (for example Kensington Tours, Collette, Abercrombie & Kent, Intrepid) but we do not yet have many Finland only packages for summer season. Around 40 tour operators have traditionally been selling Finland as part of a Nordic or Baltic and/or Russia tour and those package sales were expected to be resumed summer 2022 but due to the war in Ukraine and the sanctions against Russia, all tours to Russia will be canceled or redesigned for 2022. After the pandemic some of the tour operators are in a tough position as they may not have resources to redesign the tours this year, but hopefully for 2023. Visit Finland aims to support the North American tour operators the best we can with our resources in case they need advise how to redesign their tours. We are expecting that the Nordic tour itineraries will run as planned.
Most of the American cruise companies have announced that they will operate their Baltic Sea Cruises also summer 2022, but instead of St. Petersburg, they will add other port calls in the Baltic Sea region, including Finland.
We are will continue with our BtoB activities and joint marketing campaigns as planned in the US. A joint Nordic Long Haul project together with Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Greenland and Faroe Islands will be launched during spring 2022 in the US and the project will include marketing and sales promotion as well as PR activities to promote the whole Nordics region in the US. The project plan will be available during the spring 2022.
Even though in - person events have been possible in the US since spring 2021, many virtual events and hybrid events for travel trade are still organized. To celebrate Finnair's new non stop flight to Dallas, we are organizing an in - person event together with Finnair for Dallas area travel trade in March 2022.
We are also aiming to bring around 10-15 buyers from both USA and Canada to Midnight Sun event in June. It is good to remember that many big tour operators and travel agencies who are selling to the whole North America, are based in Canada.
The northern lights, nature, happiness, saunas and lakes interest in the US. As sauna and Finnish sauna culture is the only USP that we can clearly take ownership of, we should continue incorporating sauna in our messaging, designed so that it appeals to the Americans. None of USP's alone drive decision making when American traveler is making a decision to travel to Finland, but they all complement each others. Finnish Lapland is seen as a great northern lights destination option compared to Alaska, Iceland and Norway. It is also important to remember to emphasize the extraordinary accommodation options and the great infrastructure Finland has, especially in the north compared with other arctic areas. Experiencing nature, the lakes, archipelago and midnight sun or white nights and learning about the local culture and history interest when considering travel to Finland in the summer. Finland's ranking as the happiest country has also greatly increased the awareness of Finland in the US in all traveler segments. Currently high end travelers are our focus segment, because there is a lot of potential still, but also mid and low budget travel can be expected to grow.
Finland is seen as a sustainable travel destination by those who know the country, but we still have a lot of work to promote Finland in the US. More and more travelers now are interested in visiting destinations and buying from businesses that operate sustainably. American travelers want to support local businesses.
It is also good to remember, that Finland is a great stopover destination when traveling with Finnair from the US to Europe via Helsinki.
It was expected that group travel would resume in 2022 but due to the Baltic - Russia - Finland tour cancellations, we might expect lower number of group overnights in Helsinki. We still have a possibility to increase FIT travel to Finland for the summer season as well as for the winter season 2022 -2023 as pandemic restrictions are being removed.
Some of the major tour operators in the high end segment have expressed interest to increase Finland production or add Finland to their portfolio in 2023. Winter season in Lapland interests, but also Helsinki and Southern Finland during summer season. Helsinki - Lakeland - Archipelago self drive tours could be interesting in the future as well as Helsinki - Lakeland and Helsinki - Archipelago slow travel packages.
It is good to remember when designing products and packages, that 55+ is still the main segment from the US, although millennials' travel is growing in the future. The 55 + are often still very active but not necessarily used to spending time outdoors or in the nature as much we Finns are, so it is important to design "soft adventures" that are not too demanding. Overseas family travel and multigenerational travel are expected to grow as soon as it is considered safe for children to travel due to the pandemic. Honeymooners is also an interesting niche segment.
DMC's and incoming agencies continue to be vital in the US market as most tour operators do not contract directly with suppliers in Finland.