What’s up in travel in France, Sanna Tuononen? And what’s trending now in Japan, Shigeyoshi Noto?



The number of overnight stays in Finland by the French visitors have increased each month this year. Even though French visitors have been more interested in traveling to Finland to enjoy the winter here, also summer months experienced positive growth rates this summer. What are the key drivers for the French to travel to Finland in summer time? And what is trending now in France?

Take a look and find the answers in the blog below by Sanna Tuononen,
Visit Finland Representative in France and Italy





Japanese visitors have preferred Finland over the other Nordic countries as a travel destination. The Moomins, Finnish design and architecture, Finnish nature, winter and Santa Claus have attracted the Japanese travelers over the years to come here. Could sauna be the next magnet?

Find this out from the blog below by Shigeyoshi Noto,
Visit Finland Representative in Japan





What’s up in the summer travel in France, Sanna Tuononen?

How do the French typically spend their summers?

French travel a lot in France, especially in summer time. As France has many different destinations (beaches, mountains, old city destinations) people are tempted to stay in France for their summer holidays. During summer, the most popular destinations are the coastal destinations by the sea. The busiest holiday month is August.

Nevertheless, outbound travel is growing also in summer and people are looking for new destinations. As many of the French destinations are very full and busy during the holiday months, people want to have something more calm and authentic. Most popular foreign summer destinations at the moment are neighbor markets; Spain and Italy. Interest in Nordic destinations has also grown during last years as nature holidays and destinations are becoming more popular.

What are the key drivers for summer travel to Finland from France?

Finland is known as a winter destination and summer travelling figures from France are still quite small. Potential is however big and when the image of summer will be stronger, the French travelers will also find Finland’s beauty in summer.

In Finland in summer time, the French people are looking for nature experiences, outdoor activities and relaxing moments away from noise and city environment. Finland is also considered as an easy and safe destination for families. Finland can attract with the image of clean air, nature and food, midnight sun, multiples possibilities for outdoors activities and active summer cultural life (events and festivals).

Are there some specific activities or interests that are trending now on the French market?

Ecological issues and green values are trendy. All the activities “back to basic and back to nature” are popular. Regarding these values, Finland has a lot to offer with all the nature and outdoor activities and destinations (different regions).

French also want to travel in a more sustainable way and “meet the locals” and “live like the locals” are important aspects of the travelling. Therefore, for example Airbnb is very popular and used among the French travellers.



What is trending now in Japan, Shigeyoshi Noto?

Sauna is now “in” in Japan

One day, two gentlemen came to my office and told me they were huge Sauna fans and they do whatever they can to promote Sauna in Japan. I was quite confused with their passion and how they became so big fan of Sauna, they were so serious. Usually, to attract Japanese gentlemen to travel to Finland is not so easy, and our main target group has been ladies for long time. However, something is happening for Sauna in Japan in the last couple of years especially in young business people and entrepreneurs in IT companies. It’s booming now.

It started by one comic book drawn by Mr. Katsuki Tanaka and some people around him, mainly working for press, advertisement companies and IT companies. The name of the comic book is “Sa-dou“ and it was published in 2011. “Sa-dou” means Sauna ceremony taken after “Sadou”, meaning tea ceremony.

This book made a kind of trend of sub-culture, and the most interesting thing is, that they felt spiritual deep meaning of Sauna in quite similar way with the Tea ceremony or with the traditional flower arrangement “Kado”. They focus on how to take Sauna in a proper way and how we should feel mindfulness from Sauna. Then their interests are expanding to other Finnish cultures and habits as well.

Nowadays, we have several books telling only about Sauna. Some of the sauna enthusiasts also created the “Finland Sauna Club”, and they are looking for Finnish Saunas in Japan, sharing the information, and visiting them during the weekends. They even organize the ”Japan Sauna Festival” at Finland Village, which was established by the Finnish Chamber of Commerce. The third “Japan Sauna Festival” will be on the 3rd and 4th of March, 2018 and you can read more about it on their website (https://www.fsc37.com).

Needless to say, Sauna is the core of Finnish tradition, culture and everyday life and could be a good product in tourism business. On the other hand, Sauna has not been promoted well enough as the main product and as the motivation for traveling to Finland. It has been more like a “side dish” to enjoy on the spot. And, sometimes there has been some difficulties with some travelers with the thought of being half-naked among other people.

Now we should do something to promote Sauna in Japan. There is a new target group for this and they are ready to come to Finland to enjoy the Sauna!


“Sa-dou”                  Sauna featured issue on travel magazine “Coyote”

Finland Sauna Club

Website of “Finland Sauna Club”