Following the range of terrorist attacks across Europe and the recent turmoil in Turkey, tourism industries in the affected countries suffer. However, in Finland, one man’s pain is another man’s gain. The Scandinavian country will brand itself as a peaceful and secure nation, in order to draw terror-scared tourists.
Tourism in Paris have decreased with 11% in 2016 and occupancy levels dropped 20% in Nice, following the recent terrorist attack, reports the Business Insider. The British low-cost carrier, Thomas Cook, also informs that its revenue for 2016 is down 8% compared to last year, mainly due to the unrest in Turkey and the terrorist attack in Brussels later this year.
“Safety is going to be the next big thing in tourism,” said Maisa Häkkinen, tourism director for Miksei, a business development firm, to Yle, Finland’s national public-broadcasting company.
“There is nothing to fear in the middle of a Finnish forest. Even the bears run away from you, no matter how badly you would like to catch a glimpse of one,” she added.
The Finnish tourism industry have also experienced a drop in visitors recently, not because of terrorism, but due to a decline of 20% in tourists from Russia, the main source country of tourists for Finland.
“The drop-off in Russian tourists has been monumental and so we’ve switched our focus to Europe and Asia. We are definitely looking to gain more visibility on the international stage,” said Maisa Häkkinen.
As ScandAsia have previously reported, the Finnish tourism industry especially targets the Chinese market.
This year, Finland opened 13 new visa centers in China and Finnair also seeks to expand its activities in Asia, with new routes to China. The Finnish airline carrier recently signed a strategic partnership with Alitrip, a fast growing Chinese online travel service, arranging roundtrip travels to Finland.
In 2015, the number of overnight stays by Chinese tourists grew more than 40% in comparison to the previous year. Chinese travelers are also the biggest spenders per visit of all the international visitors in Finland.