Businesses in Lapland bet big on German travellers

April 12, 2018

DER Touristik, one of Germany’s largest tour operators, teams up with Visit Finland, Finnair and Levin Matkailu to fly 100 travel consultants to Finnish Lapland in April to experience the destination and its services first-hand. This is a big yet calculated bet: Germany is a huge travel market with plenty of purchasing power.

The event is called Campus Live and its purpose is to support the promising growth of wintertime travel from Germany to Lapland as well as to help develop products for summer and extend the travel season. The event is part of DER Touristik’s extensive training program, which focuses on specific destinations. The program also includes online courses and training events for employees at DER Touristik agencies. Notably, the company still operates around 9500 travel agencies in Germany.

After the events in Germany are completed, a hundred employees are chosen from among the participants and given a chance to actually visit the destination. The travel consultants will stay in Lapland for a week and take part on six tours in different regions: Harriniva, Inari, Iso-Syöte, Rovaniemi, Salla and Ylläs. After the tours, a grand finale awaits at Levi, including activities, hotel tours and workshops.

Co-operation set to create long-term demand

The financial contribution required by the Finnish partners is seen as a long-time investment on the German market. Philipp Detmer, Team Leader Northern Countries & Baltic States at DER Touristik, is very pleased with the project and their Finnish partners.

“It is very important that our travel consultants have a chance to visit the destinations they offer to our customers. It is an experience that will make them fall in love with Lapland for life”, Detmer says.

Finnair’s General Manager for Central Europe Jan Pellinen is also pleased with the project and hopes it will further solidify co-operation between the partners. Pellinen emphasises the importance of creating long-lasting demand that will benefit all parties for years to come.

Campus Live’s predecessor Dertour Akatemia was hosted at Levi and Helsinki in 1998

Paavo Virkkunen, head of Business Finland’s Visit Finland unit, took part in organising DERTour’s major event for German travel to Finland, working with MEK, Visit Finland’s equivalent at the time.

“That does make Campus Live quite special for me. I believe the event will significantly stimulate year-round travel from Germany. It’s great to see how meticulous their product training is, getting to know the service providers and their products in real life. Finnish travel operators also deserve praise for taking the effort to learn more about international customers and their constantly evolving expectations for services”, Virkkunen says.

German travellers becoming more important for Lapland

The current project was started a year ago in Berlin at the world’s largest travel trade show, ITB. Maija Palosaari, Head of Development at Levin Matkailu, says the German market has become more important year by year, especially thanks to direct flights during the winter.

“The Campus Live event will give German travel professionals first-hand experience about Levi and our products. I expect the German market to make new headways for the summer season in 2019, and DER Touristik is sure to have a notable role”, Palosaari says.

Germany a top source for travel in Finland

In 2017, German travellers increased their stays in Finland by over 15%, making them the second largest nation of origin with 622,900 stays. German travellers tend to explore all of Finland, but direct flights have especially increased visits to Lapland. Traditional tours and cottage holidays still hold their own, but various activities and specialised accommodation services gain traction as well.

Germans have always been keen to travel, which is only accentuated by Germany’s strong economy, making it reasonable to expect visitors from Germany in years to come as well. Finnair has already added flights between Germany and Finland and now provides flights to six destinations in Germany.

FURTHER DETAILS

Jyrki Oksanen, Visit Finland Market Representative, Germany | Business Finland
+49 152 286 77233, jyrki.oksanen@businessfinland.fi