Olemme keränneet Suomen matkailuelinkeinolle ajankohtaista tietoa, tulevaisuuden näkymiä ja muuta hyödyllistä materiaalia USA:sta matkailumarkkinana. Englanninkielinen markkinakatsausmateriaali päivitetään kaksi kertaa vuodessa.
Updated August 2021
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). Iceland received this year a lot of publicity and also bookings as they were able to open the borders already in March 2021. However, there is visible shift with more interest towards Finland now during the pandemic. 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.
Finnair currently operates flights from three gateway cities in the US: New York, Chicago and Los Angeles and are also planning to introduce Miami - Helsinki.
Visit Finland has reduced PR activations in the US during 2021, but we have received good media coverage through press releases and pitching as well as through a joint "Happiness from Finland" PR project of travel and consumer industries.
Several major US tour operators are now selling Finland winter packages (for example Kensington Tours, Collette, Abercrombie & Kent, Intrepid). Around 40 tour operators have been selling Finland as part of a Nordic or Baltic and/or Russia tour, but those tours have not in most cases been able to operate because of the restrictions in different countries. Because of those travel restrictions this year, we mostly lost summer 2021 in tour operator market.
To boost winter 2021/22 we have executed joint marketing campaigns with Kensington Tours, Avanti and Intrepid as well as marketing activations with Virtuoso and US Tour Operator Association USTOA. We have also had webinars together with travel agencies, travel advisors, other Nordic countries and Finnair.
Now that in- person events are already possible in the US, the number of webinar registrations is decreasing rapidly and the industry prefers in-person events over virtual events. However, due to the circumstances, many virtual events and hybrid events for travel trade are still organized. Visit Finland is organizing USA roadshow events together with Visit Estonia on October 5-8th in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Instead of matchmaking meetings, the events will focus on educational elements and the buyers are invited to join the events in person.
FIT travel is at the moment stronger than group travel and around half of the travelers use different online platforms to search information and to book travel. Some of the relevant online booking platforms in the US are Expedia Group platforms, Priceline, Kiwi.com and Hopper. Visit Finland has had marketing campaigns with marketing platforms TourRadar and Culturetrip.
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 expected that group travel will resume in 2022 or when it is considered safe to travel in groups again. FIT travel will be dominating winter 2021/22, but there may be smaller groups (max. 20 pax).
Some of the major tour operators in the high end segment have expressed interest to increase Finland production or add Finland to their portfolio for 2022 or 2023, especially 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. Also overseas family travel and multigenerational travel is expected to grow when it is considered safe for children to travel.
Visit Finland USA is also working with Finnair to develop the Finland StopOver promotion for the travel agents and in this segment there is also a possibility for growth.
DMC's and incoming agencies continue to be are vital in the US market as most tour operators do not contract directly with suppliers in Finland.