Finnish restaurants celebrate end of Covid restrictions but worry about lack of Chinese tourists

Last week, Finland lifted the country’s Covid-19 restrictions regulating bar and restaurant opening hours and capacity but Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine will slow down the sector’s recovery due to lack of especially Chinese and Russian tourists, YLE writes. 

Timo Lappi, CEO of hospitality industry lobby group MaRa explains that airspace closure over Russia has overshadowed the celebrations over lifted covid-19 restrictions and the decrease in tourists it will bring could hamper the sector’s recovery.

After Russia banned airplanes from Finland and any other EU country from entering its airspace, Finnair has been forced to cancel several flights to China and other parts of Asia and according to Timo Lappi, this will result in Finland losing out on business from Russian tourists as well as visitors from Japan and China.

Timo Lappi estimates that it will make it harder for Finland’s tourism and hospitality sector to recover from the pandemic.

In total, businesses in Finland’s tourism and hospitality sector received 650 million euros in financial aid from the Finnish government in 2020 and 2021 which is considerably less than other Nordic countries paid out, Timo Lappi says. 

About Gregers Møller

Editor-in-Chief • ScandAsia Publishing Co., Ltd. • Bangkok, Thailand

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