Travel and Tourism Industry

An Expert's View about Travel, Tourism and Food Services in Finland

Last updated: 31 Aug 2011

Summary

The United States is one of the top long-haul travel destinations for Finns with almost 112,000 Finnish arrivals in 2010. The popularity of the United States as a travel destination is based on the large variety of activities it offers. Florida, New York, and California are the best sales prospects in Finland for the U.S. travel industry; however, Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada, and New Mexico have gained popularity. Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, Atlanta, New York City, and Las Vegas are the most important destinations for Finnish business people. In 2010, the share of business travel was 18.8 percent, while Finns made 21,000 business trips to the United States.

Market Demand

Finland has a population of 5.3 million. In 2010, Finns made 7.4 million trips abroad, of which 6.1 million were leisure trips. Europe accounted for 70 percent of this foreign travel (mostly package tours). The most popular destination was Estonia followed by Spain (the Canary Islands included), Sweden, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, and France. The United States, Thailand, China, and Japan continued to be the most popular long-haul travel destinations. Business travel was 17.4 percent of the total outbound travel.

The popularity of the United States as a travel destination is based on the large variety of activities it offers. It is easy to combine various attractions - beach holidays, city tours, theme parks, culture, shopping, nature, golf, skiing, fishing, etc. Also, Finns find the American culture easy to adapt due to its popularity in Finland. Florida is the most popular destination for first-time travelers, families with children, and senior citizens. Younger people and experienced travelers favor New York and the West Coast. Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, Atlanta, New York City, and Las Vegas are the most important destinations for Finnish business people. Finns made 21,000 business trips to the United States in 2010 (10 percent increase from 2009).

The majority of package tours are sold to Florida. Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Lake Worth, and Orlando are the main destinations. Finnish tour operators also offer tours with different combinations, e.g., one week in Miami combined with one week in Orlando. A trip to New York can also be combined with one or two destinations in Florida. California has recently gained popularity in Finland. Tours to the West Coast are often combinations of various destinations, such as Los Angeles-Las Vegas-Grand Canyon tour or Hollywood-Hawaii tour.

Summer is the high season for both domestic and outbound travel. About 40 percent of foreign travel takes place in June, July, and August. Visiting friends or relatives is usually the most important reason for choosing a domestic destination, and “sun and sand” and city destinations for outbound travel. However, a growing number of travelers are looking for activity holidays. Local culture, nature, golf, fishing, diving, sailing, skiing, and many other activities have become important for Finns when traveling abroad. The trend is that more travelers are looking for individual travel packages and are interested in various activities.

Normally, Finns enjoy a four-week summer vacation and a one-week winter vacation. Therefore, travel abroad is spread throughout the year. The busiest season for long-haul travel is June-October. June, July, and August are the most popular months for leisure travel. The high season for travel to the United States lasts from June to August and the low season goes from November to March. September-October and April-May are so-called midseasons. There is also a short high season from Christmas to New Year.

Best Prospects

Florida, New York, and California continue to be the best sales prospects for the U.S. travel industry. These destinations offer easy combinations of various attractions – beach holidays, city tours, theme parks, culture, shopping, golf, nature, etc. Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, Atlanta, New York City, and Las Vegas are the most popular destinations for Finnish business travelers.

A growing number of Finnish travelers are looking for individual travel packages and are interested in various activities, such as local culture, nature, or sports. Therefore, Finns have shown interest in other destinations, such as Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada, and New Mexico.

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Posted: 31 August 2011, last updated 31 August 2011

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