Lapland loses millions due to poor air connections

laplandLapland loses out on millions of euros in tourism money each year because of poor flight connections, a Lapland Regional Council study has shown.

The regional council surveyed tour operators across Finland and discovered that four in five had lost sales during the last two years because of poor flight connections.

Hanne Junnilainen, an engineer at the Lapland Regional Council, revealed that 84 per cent of operators who took part in the survey said there had been a drop in sales in the past two winters.

She explained that half of those surveyed estimated that there had been a slump of 53 per cent in sales to Lapland. However, they are of the opinion that if flight connections were improved and priced competitively in comparison to other Finnish destinations, there is plenty potential. He said they claim sales could increase by between 15 and 20 per cent.

Meanwhile, regional director Mika Riipi said that plans to cut the number of regional airports, however, is further undermining the situation. He claims that these plans seem unfair considering the tourism growth potential in Lapland and the wider potential of northern Finland. Riipi insisted that the focus should be on bettering the logistical position, not the opposite.