Northern Finland loses millions of tourism euros per year due to poor flight connections, according to a Lapland Regional Council study.
A plan for the reduction of regional airports will further weaken the situation.
A Regional Council of Lapland poll surveying tour operators found that as many as four out of five said they had lost sales in the past two years due to poor air connections.
Lapland Regional Council Engineer Hanne Junnilainen says that 84 per cent of tourism operators surveyed said that sales had slumped over the last two winters.
“Of these, half estimated how much trade they had lost, saying that they lost 53 percent of sales to Lapland, however, in addition, they also see solid potential if flight connections were good and competitively priced compared to other destinations,” says Junnilainen. “They saw potential to increase sales between 15 to 200 percent.”
Plans to reduce regional airports run the risk of undermining the situation further, says regional director Mika Riipi.
“From our perspective, they seem unfair,” Riipi says. “If we consider the situation in which we find our tourism growth potential and then see the wider potential of the northern regions, our focus should be on improving our logistical position, not weakening it.”