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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 October 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.With a growing consumption−driven economy, young population, growing affluent middle class, and the ongoing liberalization 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 flies daily from New Delhi in 2023 (Thrice a week in 2022)​.
Finnair Mumbai route has been put on hold for Winter 2023.

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

A notable shift in the purpose of outbound travel from India has been observed with a transition from primary business trips to an increased focus on leisure travel. Indian travellers are increasingly seeking experiences that go beyond work-related obligations, opting instead for leisure trips that encompass relaxation and exploration. Another major purpose for Indians travelling abroad has been VFR (Visiting friends and relatives) and other purposes such as education and medical-related travel. The change in travel patterns can be attributed to changing work culture demographics, rising awareness, and exploring affordable travel options.

According to Thomas Cook India and SOTC Travel's India Holiday Report 2023, there is an increased intent for holidays among Indians. They are now looking at taking multiple short trips or mini-cations internationally in addition to at least one or two long annual trips of approximately 10-12 days.

At the same time, travel the appetite for spending more has also gone by almost 20 per cent this year in comparison to pre-pandemic when supply constraints were leading to higher prices.

While multigenerational families and couples continue to display a strong travel desire, high-growth segments that are emerging include GenZ and millennials, apart from senior citizens post-retirement.

Popular outbound destinations from India
Most searched international destinations for this year are Dubai, Bangkok, London, Bali, Toronto, Singapore, New York, Bali, San Fransisco, and Paris.

Financing the trip
Another intriguing trend travel companies have noticed this year that travellers no longer feel the need to purchase their entire holiday funds in one go. The advent of prepaid Forex cards has enabled travellers to conveniently reload their cards on the go whenever required during their time abroad.

A noteworthy trend in terms of foreign exchange bookings this year is the growing inclination of customers towards prepaid Forex cards over other forms of travel instruments.

The era when travellers relied solely on cash notes for their international travel has passed. International travellers now understand the importance of purchasing currency notes only for smaller expenses & maintain the rest of the holiday cash in Forex cards. Both credit and debit cards carry a high foreign exchange markup & currency conversion fee, which can range from 3-5 per cent of the transaction amount. However, Forex cards are interbank linked & offer the best rates to the customers.

Growth in visa applications
According to data shared by VFS Global, visa application volumes from India have gone up 20 per cent this year (till June 30) in comparison to last year. In 2022, visa applications were up 140 per cent in comparison to 2021.

Outbound travel from India rebounded faster than expected, driven by pent-up demand, which reflected in volumes. In 2022, visa application volumes from India increased by more than 100 per cent over 2021. Business momentum in 2023 has continued to be robust. 

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
Indians have grown this year to the largest group of visa applicants. Number two is Russia and number three is China. Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs has invested in visa services. Visa applications are handled since January this year in Finland after the applicants have submitted their applications to our external partner organization VFS. This makes it possible to handle even much larger number of visa applications in the future. Visa can be applied through 6 VFS Centres in India: Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata & Hyderabad.
Increase in daily visa appointments has also been implemented. Groups are also being welcomed.

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 flies daily from New Delhi in 2023 (Thrice a week in 2022)​.
Finnair Mumbai route has been put on hold for Winter 2023. 

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

Read more about India in Finnish

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