Finland is expected to receive a record number of visitors from the United States this summer, which will help the Scandinavian country’s tourism industry recover further from the damage caused by the coronavirus.
Although COVID-19 continues to affect a large number of countries, governments in many territories around the world have decided to change their approach to the virus and ease travel bans and other restrictions in order to help many industries, including tourism, recover while they open its doors to international tourists, TheSchengen.com reports.
“We have more direct links from the United States to Finland this year than ever before, and this is the most important reason why tourism to Finland has increased sharply,” the head of the Finland Tourism Promotion Organization, North America, Healy Mindy noted in this connection, as reported by Yle.
Based on a previous report by Visit Finland, nearly 320,000 overnight stays for international visitors from the US were recorded in Finland before the outbreak of the coronavirus and its new strains. The same source shows that the number of tourists is expected to rise again this year.
Previously, the European Travel Commission, in its European Tourism Trends and Prospects report, highlighted the damage the Omicron variable caused to the European tourism industry at the end of the last quarter of last year while hampering its recovery.
The ETC report confirmed that Finland saw a significant decline in the travel and tourism industry or an overall decline of 80 percent. At the same time, the report highlighted that in 2022 travel demand is expected to be 20 percent lower than pre-pandemic levels.
Finnair, Finland’s national carrier, will add flights to Dallas and Seattle starting next month, while the country focuses more on the US market.
“We believe that North American traffic will be strong in the coming months and this year, from here to North America and from North America to Finland, Nordic countries and elsewhere in Europe. This demand is important as we await the full opening of Asian traffic,” Finnair CEO confirmed , Toby Manner.
Manner predicts that air passenger traffic will continue to recover and come close to returning to pre-pandemic levels by the end of this year. However, the company estimates that a full recovery of passenger numbers will not occur until 2023.
In December last year, a noticeable increase in the number of visitors was recorded in Helsinki, despite the fact that the numbers remained below pre-pandemic levels.
In addition, the Yle report showed that hotels in Helsinki were at nearly 50 percent in December last year, an increase of nearly 13 percent compared to the December 2020 figures.