The new route is the first long distance to Rovaniemi and the local tourism hope it will bring more visitors from the Middle East.
Turkish Airlines flight to Rovaniemi will operate three times a week this winter.
“There are 80 destinations that can be reached within three hours from Istanbul. This creates new possibilities for tourism in Lapland, both globally and especially in the Middle East, which has been a growing market for us in recent years,” said Sanna Kärkkäinen, CEO of Visit Rovaniemi.
She added that professional travel companies from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Arab Emirates already have been introduced to what the winter in Lapland can offer.
From its newly opened airport hub in Istanbul, Turkish Airlines flies to 300 destinations in 122 countries.
Rovaniemi Airport has recently undergone an extensive expansion project which nearly doubled its floor area and services for passengers. The expansion is part of Finavia’s €55 million investment programme for airports in Lapland that also includes Kittilä and Ivalo.
December is the busiest month of the year for Lapland airports. With 150,000 passengers in the Christmas period, Rovaniemi airport has five times more travellers than in June. Ivalo, further north, has 5,000 passengers in June compared with 70,000 expected for December.
Related stories from around the North:
Canada: Tourism numbers in Canada’s Northwest Territories up 7 per cent, Eye on the Arctic
Finland: Northern Finland’s tourism industry divided over flight tax proposal, Yle News
Iceland: Arctic tourism in the age of Instagram, Eye on the Arctic special report
Norway: Antarctic-to-Arctic ultra-luxury cruise announced for 2022, The Independent Barents Observer
Russia: Russian Arctic National Park director aims to boost tourism, The Independent Barents Observer
Sweden: Weak Swedish currency gives foreign tourists more spending power, Radio Sweden
United States: When the ice melts, what will happen to Arctic tourism?, Cryopolitics Blog