What’s up in US travel to Finland, Helena Niskanen?

22.05.2017

What is behind the latest overnight figures?

Increased direct airlift to the region, more competitive airfares, a stronger US Dollar, greater awareness of the region and its attractions, and new and revamped travel programs to the region offered by North American tour operators have all contributed to the growth. Several Finland programs include Lapland on the itineraries.

Many tour operators are reporting a heavy volume of bookings to Europe for summer 2017 citing competitive exchange rates, lower airfares, and increased consumer confidence as the main reasons driving the growth.

 

What is the impact of new flight routes?

The increase in nonstop flights to Scandinavia since 2013 when Norwegian Air International entered the US market and the subsequent opening of new US gateways by SAS Scandinavian Airlines and Finnair that increased the number of direct flights and seats from the US to Scandinavia had a positive impact on the strong increase of US resident arrivals to the region. Scandinavia’s share of Americans arriving on nonstop flights to Europe has increased to a third of all arrivals. On June 1st Finnair will launch its fourth US hub with a non-stop flight from San Francisco to Helsinki.

While the number of Americans traveling non-stop to Scandinavia has continued to increase impressively with the increased airlift to the region, many others travel to the region via other European gateways (Reykjavik, Amsterdam, London LHR, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, or Paris CDG).

 

What are the key drivers for winter travel to Finland?

Winter travel to Finland has been featured in the US press and social media channels more frequently with incredible images such as the glass igloos in Lapland. Sami culture, a chance to experience Aurora Borealis, unique snow and ice accommodations, glass igloos and a great variety of activities for every budget are all very appealing to travellers, and easy to combine with Helsinki.

 

What are the new travel trends in your market?

  • Bleisure travel boom especially among the Millenials: Mixing business with pleasure is a definite travel trend
  • Solo travel: With a surge in women-only retreats and women-only travel companies, there is a growing trend in solo travel, especially with women
  • Ecotourism: Travelers are more sensitive than ever to their carbon footprint, especially when visiting more remote locations
  • Simplicity
  • People are overwhelmed with apps, blogs, reviews, aggregator sites, social media channels, and news feeds. Travel advisors are now information navigators and matchmakers, pairing people with experiences. That’s why working with travel agents is still very important in the US market.

 

Helena Niskanen

 

Further information:

Helena Niskanen
Visit Finland Representative – USA

helena.niskanen@visitfinland.com