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Finland teaches a fresh approach to travel

Growing demand for educational travel in Finland means myriad possibilities, believes Anne Lind.

Interest in the Finnish education system is growing year by year. Our education system is well-known and highly regarded around the world for its considerable success in PISA studies and excellent learning results. This stems from highly trained teachers, high-quality educational materials and pedagogic leadership.

Since Finland is doing things differently, others want to learn from us, too.

Finnish companies, universities, universities of applied sciences and vocational institutes have welcomed groups of visitors from around the world already for years. These educational influencers, teachers, principals, students, pupils, researchers and owners of private schools want to see how our education system works in practice.

Local tourism industry operators have also recognised the need to cater and package educational tours for this new international group of visitors. Because educational travel differs from leisure travel, designing the tours requires seamless co-operation between the public and private sector.

A lot remains to be done to increase understanding of the needs and interests of educational visitors. The roles of different operators involved in the production and implementation of the tours must be fine-tuned and internalised.

To develop this type of travel into a profitable year-round business, attention must be paid also to the pricing of various services, including the learning materials that form the basis for the tours.

Regardless of whether it is teachers and principals visiting schools or children on a school trip at a youth centre in Finland, there is a price for every travel service that the customer is prepared to pay.

Be it goods, services or educational travel services, it is crucial that Finnish education exports are presented under a single “Education Finland” brand. This offers educational travel service exporters an opportunity to gain visibility at various education-related events organised to present the Finnish education system and help different countries to reform and develop their own education systems.

We must be quick to respond to the growing demand for educational travel in Finland. Therefore, we already offer information in English, Chinese and Korean complete with example itineraries and travel ideas to those interested in familiarising themselves with learning, the schools and the education system here.

Finland’s innovative approach to education resonates on a global scale. Now it is time for the world to see first-hand what all the fuss is about.

Published on 10.05.2018