During the ski holidays, almost half of Lapland’s corona infections were detected by tourists.
A large number of Finnish tourists are also heading to Lapland at Easter, as in the past corona winter during the holiday weeks earlier. According to the tourism industry interviewees interviewed by STT, cottages and holiday apartments in Lapland, for example, are largely occupied during Easter.
– All in all, it’s really busy. We have about a thousand properties in Lapland, of which there are only a few dozen available at Easter, says the CEO of Lomarengas Oy to STT Juha-Pekka Olkkola.
Levi and Ylläs are also told that the cottages and holiday apartments are almost full. According to travel companies, calls from the government and health authorities to avoid traveling at Easter have not translated into increased cancellations. The government also decided to propose movement restrictions, but they were unlikely to take effect for Easter.
– There have been inquiries, no cancellations, Olkkola says.
There is still room in Lapland’s resorts, especially in hotels. There is also plenty of space in Rovaniemi.
– This is a quiet time for us, and of course it is a pity, because Lapland has a wonderful winter and great weather, says Visit Rovaniemi’s CEO Sanna Kärkkäinen.
– Domestic growth is not visible to us. This is probably because we are not a traditional ski resort.
Tourists behaved mostly responsibly
During the ski holidays, almost half of the infections detected in Lapland were in tourists, says the chief infectious disease doctor of the Lapland Hospital District to STT Markku Broas. However, according to him, further infections came mainly from people working in the tourism industry in Levi.
– There was one bigger mass exposure, but also other separate infections. As a rule, no other large mass exposures were generated, and no large chains of infection or further infections were seen elsewhere, which means that the ski holiday weeks went well, Broas tells STT.
In the Lapland Hospital District, the guidelines for tourism have been kept the same as before Christmas and ski holidays. Visit Levi’s CEO Yrjötapio Kivisaari trusts that the holiday in Lapland will also be safe at Easter.
– As long as you stay in your own travel bubble and leave only healthy, move outside and do not go to any parties or organize any parties in the holiday rooms, it is safe to come here on holiday, Kivisaari estimates.
Both tourism companies and Chief Medical Officer Broas praise Finnish tourists for behaving mostly responsibly.
In the ski resorts, the ski has slipped in Korona time
The winter season, which was lived under the crown as a whole, has treated Lapland’s tourism entrepreneurs in two ways.
– The hotel reservation situation has been poor, the situation in the restaurants has been catastrophic. Transport companies have also suffered and to some extent also rental companies, Kivisaari says.
The situation has also been particularly bad for program service entrepreneurs who have targeted their offerings to foreign tourists.
Instead, ski resorts and resorts, for example, have attracted people well.
– Domestic demand has been a positive surprise, but it is not enough to offset international demand, says Visit Ylläs’ CEO Janne-Juhani Haarma.
– Lapland’s tourism revenue was about one billion euros in 2019. Yes, hundreds of millions will certainly be lost as a result of this situation, even though the situation in tourist centers has been positive.
Source site www.is.fi