Is Lapland tourism suffering because of the collapse of the ruble? Russian tourists account for about five percent of the total number of foreign tourists to Lapland – the Finland North.
Lapland is the largest, most genuine experience park in Finland. Its unique nature, diverse activities, and fascinating attractions offer unique holiday experiences throughout the year. Visitors can experience the moments of twilight in mid-winter, northern lights, autumn colors, and the midnight sun that shines day and night.
The nature and its four seasons create an ideal backdrop for the wide range of travel services available in Lapland. The twelve tourist areas of Lapland offer guests unforgettable experiences all year round. Winter’s white snow and the drifts of spring give way to the awakening of nature as Lapland is illuminated with summer light. Summer bows to the colourful array of autumn and the magical polar nights of Christmas time.
The culture of Lapland is a mixture of north and south, east and west. The culture of Lapland is broadly understood as the way of life and how to make a living. Sámi people, living in Lapland, are among the largest indigenous ethnic groups in Europe. And let’s not forget – Finnish Lapland is also the home of Santa Claus and his reindeers.
Finland is a neighbor of Russia. Russian tourism to this country has always been important. Preliminary data indicate, the number of Russian visitors at the turn of the year dropped by about a fifth.
“All the hotels and tour operators are not even aiming for Russian customers,” said Liisa Mäenpää, project manager at Lapin Matkailuelinkeinon Liitto ry.
According to Mäenpää, at worst it was thought that the number of Russian tourists arriving in Lapland will drop by up 40 percent compared to figures in the past.
Around New Year time tourism overall increased by almost 15 percent despite few Russian tourists.
The drop of Russian tourists was supplemented by tourists arriving from Italy, Britain and East Asia
Ari Vuorentausta, Executive Director at Lapland Hotels pointed out that British and Asian tourists were mainly customers in Rovaniemi during the December time.
In Kuusamo, a significant loss of tourists from the Eastern neighbor has not been witnessed.
The Ruka-Kuusamo Tourist Association stated, the number of Russian tourists reflected has been as much as in previous years.
it is however feared, a large proportion of customers had booked and paid in advance for the trip before the collapse of ruble.