The revenue coming from traveling be it business related or leisure traveling has dropped tremendously in 2020. The layoffs in accommodation, hotels, restaurants as well as event industries are predicted to continue to the next year.
Although the government proposed funding scheme for traveling, restaurant and leisure industries in early May 2020, the package has been declared as insufficient by the union of restaurant and travel industry union MaRa.
As the travel season in Lapland is about to start with not many bookings made due to the pandemic, hundreds of people may be forced to be laid off. The only safe source of income to these companies may be from Finns, but that will not be enough.
Pandemic as a push towards local tourism
This does not mean that traveling companies are not trying their best to keep the industry as alive as possible.
Finnair is promoting flights to Lapland like it has never been before and travel agencies are selling packages to local winter destinations like Levi, Ruka as well as Saariselkä.
Furthermore, ongoing campaigns like “100 reasons to travel in Finland” (100 syytä matkailla Suomessa) have attracted more enthusiasm and interest in 2020 compared to previous years.
Day trips and one night stays close to national parks have been popular, and some accommodation providers have noticed an increase in bookings during the autumn vacation season.
Staycations are here to stay
The global trend of staycations is not exactly new. For a few years hotels and other accommodation providers have promoted staycations and offered intriguing deals for local travellers.
Staycation comes from words stay and vacation referring to a vacation that is taken nearby either at another city or village or even within the same place one lives in.
These short 1-3 night trips have not only become increasingly popular in 2020 but also more trendy. People enjoy taking photos and participating in activities just like they would during a vacation abroad. The aim is often either find something new in the place one lives in or visit a place nearby that they otherwise would have not perhaps visited.
Besides being trendy, staycations are also considered as a more environmentally friendly choice when it comes to traveling as it oftentimes does not require flying to the destination. Some may choose to book accommodation that is conscious of their carbon footprint, thus making the trip as eco friendly as possible.
If you are like most Finns, you will probably spend some time playing on online casinos during your vacation. If you plan to play on these so called “kasinot ilman rekisteröitymistä” -concept casinos, make sure your internet connection / wifi is secured. Always remember to logout after you’ve played!
The traveling industry innovating new ways to attract Finnish travellers
Besides staycations, the traveling industry has had to come up with new, innovative ways to survive and make profit during the challenging time period. One of them is offering hotel rooms for a day as a place to work.
Many are working remotely, and many of them are having anxiety due to staying indoors from morning till late at night. The price of these day rooms is considerably cheaper compared to staying one night in a hotel. People may choose to pay for extra such as breakfast, spa or other services provided by the hotel. Although this will not save the industry, it is a great example of innovative thinking.
Furthermore, a cruise company Viking Line is considering starting cruises within Finland. These cruises would be either from Helsinki or Turku to Kemi. Although it has not been confirmed whether these cruises will start at all, the thought has raised a lot of discussion and interest towards cruises.
Many accommodation providers, museums, attractions and other areas depending on travelers have also reduced prices as well as given way more flexibility when it comes to the terms and conditions of the booking.
Check your travel insurance policies before the trip
Travel insurance is a necessity when traveling abroad. As traveling abroad is not an option for most of us, taking short trips within the country is the best option.
The coverage of travel insurance may vary greatly when it comes to local travelling, thus insurance providers suggest people to check their travel insurance before a weekend trip to the neighbouring town.
What is most important to know is what is considered as a trip. Although the standard coverage usually starts when taking a trip that is to a location which is at least 50 kilometers from home, this may vary depending on the provider and the insurance type.
The travel insurance for luggage and items is also relevant when traveling within Finland, thus having it is valuable.
However, not all traveling for a distance longer than the one described on the insurance is considered as covered by a travel insurance. In cases where one travels more than 50 kilometers to work, the commute is not considered as traveling. What is more, anything that happens when traveling to your own summer house or cottage cannot be claimed from the insurance company.