Business Finland’s Visit Finland unit has agreed to deepen its cooperation with the Chinese Ctrip online travel agency. The partnership started with the so-called stopover services back in 2016, bringing travellers for a short stay into Finland. The new agreement will include a joint marketing campaign and the tailoring of new destinations in the heart of the Finnish Lakeland, promoting Finland as a destination and perhaps revealing hidden secrets, such as Kuopio.
The deal comes amidst a considerable increase in Chinese visitors to Europe, estimated by Oxford Economics to be 7.5 per cent annually over the next five years. The younger generation of travellers has also increased the demand for an online presence by travel destinations.
Heli Mende, head of Visit Finland global sales promotion, welcomes the deal, which responds to both trends: “It is vital for Finland, Finnish destinations and travel agencies to join the competition for Chinese travellers, to market and sell in different channels. With the Ctrip platform we will be able to reach Chinese consumers directly”.
Among the Nordic countries, Finland has experienced a considerable boom in travellers, mainly in the Greater Helsinki region and Lapland. In total, overnight stays in Finland reached 6.6 million in 2017 – a record number.
The traditional destinations in Lapland have held their ground during the winter seasons, establishing themselves as mono destinations.
“Lapland and especially Rovaniemi have succeeded wonderfully in this during the winter season,” Mende says. “Finland is clearly a new and intriguing destination for Chinese travellers and we have grown faster than the other Nordic countries. Finland as a winter destination is already a market leader in the Nordics, among Chinese tourists.”
Good News from Finland and Visit Finland are both part of Business Finland.