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Current information about Indian tourism

We have collected current information, future prospects and other useful material from India as a tourism market for the Finnish tourism industry. The English language market review is updated twice a year.

Updated April 2023

Finland's position in the market

Finland is well known with Indians as the "Happiest country in the World". As a travel destination, Finland is more popular for its winter related activities and experiences, Northern Lights and being the hometown of Santa Claus. For summer Helsinki Region & Lakeland are gaining popularity with Indians too. India has a very strong potential to become a top source market for Finland.

New Consulate General of Finland Opened in Mumbai -January 2023 highlighting the growing potential of India market for Finland.

The Indian outbound travel market is among the fastest growing markets globally with approximately 80 million passport level of purchasing power, especially among the middle class.It is expected to surpass USD 40 billion by 2026 with an impressive double-digit growth rate during the forecast period 2021-2026. ​With a growing consumption−driven economy, young population, growing affluent middle class, and the ongoing liberalisation of air transport, India is ideally positioned to become one of the most lucrative outbound tourism markets in the world​. In 2023-2024, it is expected to continue to expand as more and more Indians take advantage of the increasing availability of affordable international travel options. One of the key factors driving the growth of the Indian outbound travel market is the country's strong economic growth.​

Finnair launched scheduled flights to Mumbai from August 2022, which is their second destination in India after Delhi. ​Finnair will fly daily from New Delhi in Summer 2023 (Thrice a week earlier)​.

The current accessibility from India is also through all the EU carriers (Lufthansa, KLM, Air France) as well as the Middle eastern carriers like Emirates, Qatar and Fly Dubai. Turkish Airlines & Air France direct connection to Rovaniemi during winters can also be promoted and capitalized from India market.

Finnair and oneworld partner Qatar Airways have concluded a codeshare agreement to establish a long-term strategic cooperation between Helsinki, Stockholm and Copenhagen and Doha.

The flights to Doha are sold and marketed by both Finnair and Qatar Airways as per the schedule below:

  • 7 weekly flights to and from Helsinki
  • 7 weekly flights to and from Stockholm
  • 7 weekly flights to and from Copenhagen

The pandemic has positioned Finland as safe & secure country with pure nature, lower number Covid-19 cases and is a destination that is not overcrowded. Unique bucket list experiences like meeting Santa Claus, chasing Northern Lights, Staying in Igloos, Crossing Arctic Circle, Icebreaker etc. are experiences Indians are keen to experience. Finland is also gaining popularity with Indians for summer and autumn season, hence positioning Finland as an all year destination for Indians.

For Sweden, Norway and Denmark high summer months (especially May and June) are the main season for Indian visitors. For Finland summer is also important but compared to other Nordics, Finland's profile is more concentrated on autumn and winter as of now. Sweden is the most appealing Nordic country for Indian visitors.

Since India is currently developing and trade focused market for Visit Finland, all our activities have been majorly focused on B2B & B2B2C. Apart from this we have also done some interesting PR campaigns in 2022-2023 with Indian media and influencers to position Finland as a desired tourism destination with Indians.

Finland has gained a lot of interest and visibility with Indian Bollywood Celebrities​ in 2022-2023.

Consumer trends and behavior

Latest Consumer Trends

1. Heightened optimism around travelling in 2023
While many Indians did travel in 2022, it was mired in cautiousness as Covid was still prevalent. People around the world are feeling overwhelmingly more optimistic about travelling in 2023 compared to 2022. Despite some current instability felt globally, nearly 75% of Indian travellers report that travelling will always be worth it.

2. The usual destinations are passé
Out of lockdowns, Indians suddenly see the need to explore and that's taking them to unusual sites as opposed to the popular tourist destinations. Indians consider themselves as 'curious travellers'.
The usual favourites are being replaced for unique vacations and lesser-known spots.The mood is shifting from one of hopeful uncertainty to bold adaptability."

3. Not sustainability but regeneration
Indians are going green and most of them want their travel to be as climate friendly as possible. Instead of just going for greener options, they also want to 'see' how green their stay and travel is. According to a Virtuoso survey, 74% of their travellers are even willing to pay more for sustainable travel - but only if they know where the money is going.Even Indians are looking for more sustainable ways to travel, with 43% of Indians citing sustainability as a main criteria for 2023 summer holidays, according to Kayak.

4. Experiences not destinations
The ninth edition of EY Future Consumer Index (March 2022) reported that out of the five key broad spending priorities – planet first, affordability first, experience first, health first and society first – experience has seen the biggest increase, and is now the biggest priority segment in the US (24%), France (26%), India (31%). observes that 71% of Indian travellers want to experience "complete culture shock in 2023" – from travelling to locations with different cultural experiences and languages to exploring lesser-known cities with hidden gems.Sporting events are also big drivers for tourism as it looks like people want to watch games 'live' after watching too much TV for the last few years.

5.'Browsing luxuriously, booking affordably'
Though 75% of Indian travellers believe that travelling will always be worth it, the rising inflation is certainly pinching the average person's ability to spend money. states that Indians are seeking "more bang for their buck" - off-season destinations, planning in advance, and longer vacations. According to the 'No-Normal' report on unexpected travel trends for 2023, "travellers are browsing luxuriously but booking affordably", with consumers no longer equating fewer star hotels to lower standards.

6. Inner peace and digital detox
Surviving a pandemic which increased the dependence on technology–from online classes to Zoom meetings–has now invariably caused screen fatigue. 64% of Indian travellers are looking for 'off grid' style vacations, using travel as an opportunity to learn survival skills or even prepare for an apocalypse, observed in its annual Travel Predictions 2023 research. Another rising trend influenced by the pandemic is the search for peace and rejuvenation. The 'No-Normal' report stated that there has been more than 30% increase in wellness breaks in 2022. This trend is likely to continue in 2023. Kayak observed that 48% Indians are travelling again to "find themselves" and 43% are travelling to "escape their worries".

Role of travel agents and travel advisors

Customization/ bespoke/ tailormade is a trend that can be seen gaining popularity in the post pandemic travel. Although tailored vacations weren't rare in pre-pandemic times, Covid accelerated the need for travelers to customize their itineraries according to their ease, safety and preference. Affluent Indian travellers are looking for deeper and more comprehensive relationships with their travel advisors as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Consumers expect their travel advisor to provide clarity about cancellations, refund processes, travel insurance, and the majority agreeing the booking agent should be monitoring the latest government advice on COVID status at destination and providing information on the hygiene of the resort or location. Consumers also expect their advisor to offer more alternative travel packages to less crowded destinations, and some are most likely to want private transport options, such as private jets and private islands. Another newer requirements of affluent travellers is an even greater focus on sustainability, wherein consumers now expect to see information on this when agents create itineraries. 

To serve Indian consumer Finnish travel fraternity should consider the following :

  • Have ready made products for each season with dynamic price option and unique experiences wherein activities are listed as individual costs and the agents can customize packages as per their requirements (pick and choose experiences)
  • Willingness to work on customized/ bespoke/tailor-made packages as per clients requirement
  • Provide options for property buy out in case of groups
  • Not to take any offence on negotiations or bargaining as this is the way Indians like to work
  • Try to offer small value adds to make the agent feel special
  • Consider India a long term market and develop long term partnerships with travel agents

Industry update and distribution channels

Visa Update

  • Visa can be applied through 6 VFS Centres in India: Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai Kolkata & Hyderabad.
  • The Visa Unit of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Helsinki handles requests for advice on residence permit and visa matters for India now. The service centre is located in Kouvola, Finland.
  • Increase in daily visa appointments in Delhi and Mumbai; from 20 to 30 applicants (February 2023). I.e 1700 slots/ month.
  • Groups will be accepted: Tourist groups of max. 20 applicants: VFS will try to allocate group appointments without consulting the Embassy. If the group is bigger than 20 pax, VFS will contact us for permission for groups application submissions.
  • VFS has been advised to accept applications from family members travelling together for the same day, even if the slots are full.

Main distribution channels (biggest TO's)

  • Travel Agents and Tour Operators
  • OTA's
  • Finnish DMC's
  • Indian DMC's
  • Members of "Travellers Made" & associations like OTOAI , TAAI & TAFI

The incoming agencies and DMC's play a very integral role as they are ones creating the products which get promoted in the market, hence we intend to work very closely with the Finnish partners. Indians prefer to have one point contact for the entire destination package.

Finnair launched scheduled flights to Mumbai from August 2022, which is their second destination in India after Delhi. ​Finnair will fly daily from New Delhi in Summer 2023 (Thrice a week earlier)​.

Finnair and oneworld partner Qatar Airways have concluded a codeshare agreement to establish a long-term strategic cooperation between Helsinki, Stockholm and Copenhagen and Doha.

The flights to Doha are to be sold and marketed by both Finnair and Qatar Airways as per the schedule below:

  • 7 weekly flights to and from Helsinki
  • 7 weekly flights to and from Stockholm
  • 7 weekly flights to and from Copenhagen


4. Finland travel USP's

Our most relevant USP's in India market are as follows:

Finland Overall:

  • Happiness - Live like a Finn
  • Healthy & Safe travel is freedom to travel
  • Nature - easy access to forest
  • Santa Claus - The ambassador of goodwill from Finland

Region Wise most relevant USP's for India:


  • Santa Claus – The ambassador of goodwill from Finland
  • Incredible Light Phenomena all year round
  • Experience the Arctic Wilderness
  • The World's cleanest air- An invitation to the great outdoors


  • Land of thousand lakes
  • Have a holiday like the Finns do
  • To know Sauna is to know Finland

Helsinki Region

  • Urban nature just around the corner
  • Design & Architecture offer sights for all senses
  • World class events in a World class environment

Coast & Archipelago

  • World's largest archipelago

Appended USP's are the key USP's which make Finland exclusive for Indians

  • Happiness - Live like a Finn
  • Healthy & Safe travel is freedom to travel
  • Santa Claus - The ambassador of goodwill from Finland

Our main USP's for Finland listed above are extremely strong and extremely relevant for Indians in these times, wherein people are trying to find true mantra for happiness and health & safety measures will play an integral role in decision making for a destination wherein Finland truly stands out compared to the rest of the Europe. Santa Claus as an ambassador of goodwill, Incredible light phenomena & Arctic Wilderness experiences in Finland are also a key driving force and attraction for all the consumer segments from India including groups, FIT, MICE, Educational Trips, Luxury Travel etc. hence we can truly bank on it to target all product and consumer segments to recoup the market.

An additional key selling point for India market is Unique stays/accommodations offered by Finland

Luxury is the most important theme for India market followed by Education as Finland's Education system is well known in India as one of the best in the World. Outdoors as a theme can also be developed strongly for the young and adventurous Indians (Gen Y & Z) who are changing the overall landscape of holidays and are keen to experience and spend more time in the Outdoors.

Future outlook and upcoming season

Target Segments with continue as listed below:

City Breaker
Comfort Seeker
Activity Enthusiasts
Nature Explorers
Nature Wonder Hunters

Products will continue as follows:
Culture and Lifestyle
Outdoor & Sports
High End and Luxury Experiences
Nature Experiences
Wellbeing & Sauna
Family Experiences

India as a source market

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