On 20 July 2016, Finnair signed a strategic partnership with Alitrip, a fast growing Chinese online travel service. Finnair projects the partnership to bring around 3000 Chinese tourists to Finland during the winter months and bring a boost to Finnish tourism.
The partnership includes a a 7-day/5-night package product to Finland and Lapland, visiting Helsinki, Rovaniemi and Ivalo. Alitrip will also establish a service center in Rovaniemi, that will provide cutomer service for travellers.
“This new cooperation between Finnair with Alitrip will be a great opportunity for Finland to showcase itself to the Chinese public,” says Juha Järvinen, Chief Commercial Officer, Finnair.
“Thousands of Chinese tourists are expected to visit Finland during the winter months with this new package. Our aim is to grow this long-term cooperation between both companies every year,” he adds.
As ScandAsia have reported on several occasions, Finnair have been expanding its activities in China. Most recently, a Finnish Visa Application Centre was opened in Gangzhou and Finnair direct flights between Guangzhou and Helsinki was opened.
With the new partnership, the Finnish tourism industry also hopes to increase revenues, which have expereinced a downfall recently due to a decline of 20% in tourists from Russia, the main source country of tourists for Finland.
“What’s important is that Finnair’s agreement, along with tourism industry operators in Northern Finland, will bring new tourists to Finland rather than having them continue to another destination after changing planes in Helsinki,” says Paavo Virkkunen, head of travel trade at Visit Finland to Helsinki Times.
Finnair is the first European airline partner of Alitrip, which is a subsidiary of the Chinese Alibaba Group, one of the largest e-commerce corporations in the world.
Helsinki Times (July 25, 2016)