Arctic Finland looks for boost from Chinese tourists

Share
Vicki Kwok of Hong Kong was visiting Rovaniemi in February. (Uula Kuvaja / Yle)
Vicki Kwok of Hong Kong was visiting Rovaniemi in February. (Uula Kuvaja / Yle)
Growing numbers of Chinese tourists are expected to visit Finnish Lapland as the Regional Council of Lapland expands contacts with China’s Sichuan province.

Tourist industry hopes are being pinned on the possibility of a direct air connection between Sichuan and Finland.

In January, Finance Minister Antti Rinne was in China promoting Finnish exports. His delegation included representatives of Finnair. Rinne told Yle he is confident that a direct air connection between Sichuan in southwest China and Finland would boost visitors to Lapland.

“It was very evident that provincial representatives are really interested in Finland’s natural environment, in the clean air and the clean water. They were very interested in cooperation with Lapland in tourism affairs,” explained Rinne.

The province of Sichuan has a population of around 80 million and a fast-growing economy.

“Economic growth right now is at around ten percent and there are starting to be wealthier people who are particularly interested in visiting Lapland,” Rinne continued.

Beijing’s blessing

In addition to Finnair, Finance Minister Antti Rinne was also accompanied by representatives of several Lapland-based tourism sector companies that have partnered to open a Christmas-themed park close to Sichuan’s capital Chengdu.

Rinne said that discussions were held on the importance that a direct air connection would have, but he also pointed out that the venture would require approval by the central government.

The opening of cooperation between the province of Sichuan and the Regional Council of Lapland has already received Beijing’s blessing, Rinne told Yle.

“In practice, that means that the matter can go forward. This would be a significant boost to tourism sector employment in Lapland and have an impact on other businesses such as the service sector. It could be that it would draw in investment, as well.”

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Canadian province of Quebec announces plan for northern development, Eye on the Arctic

Finland:  Russian shoppers back in Finland, Barents Observer

Norway: Russia’s ruble is rebounding, will it boost border traffic?, Barents Observer

Russia: Currency drama has little impact on tourism in Barents region, Barents Observer

Sweden:  Bids given for Pajala mine in Arctic Sweden, Barents Observer

United States:  Alaska – Judge temporarily halts EPA process on Pebble Mine, Alaska Dispatch

Share
Yle News

Yle News

For more news from Finland visit Yle News.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *