The holiday travel forecast commissioned by the Matka Nordic Travel Fair discloses Finns travel plans for 2019.
In 2019, Finns plan to travel in Finland and to nearby destinations in Europe. City holidays abroad retain their popularity, and more and more people plan their trips around a specific theme.
Domestic tourism continues to be popular, and almost every Finn intends to do some holidaying in Finland in 2019. Most of these trips will involve visiting relatives or friends, while car travel and nature destinations also remain popular. When travelling abroad, Finns gravitate in particular to European city destinations and the Baltic countries, with beach resorts and Baltic Sea cruises also featuring in Finns’ travel plans. Snowy slopes attract Finns to take to their skis, and there is more interest than in previous years in ski trips abroad.
Almost every other Finn travelling abroad is planning a city holiday, which has been the most popular holiday type since 2013. Beach holidays continue to feature in people’s holiday plans, and there is a growing interest in spa holidays abroad.
If Finns were able to travel without any constraints, they dream of visiting, for example, well-known cities with pleasant climates in North America. They also dream of faraway destinations such as Australia, New Zealand and Japan. Canada and familiar European destinations also loom in the Finns’ dreams. A small portion of Finns (6%) are not planning to travel abroad in 2019.
Travellers favour city destinations and prioritise culture and history
Themed trips are growing in popularity year by year, and more and more people have taken a themed trip or plan to do so. Popular themed trips among Finns include ones that focus on history, nature and culture. Almost one third of the respondents are planning a cultural trip (29% of the respondents) or a nature trip (29% of the respondents) in 2019. One quarter, in turn, are planning a history-themed trip (26% of the respondents), and more and more Finns are also becoming interested in sports holidays, even of the extreme kind (26% of the respondents). When going ahead with themed trips, people, more than before, use the expertise and knowledge of travel agencies.
“In 2019, Finns are planning to travel more than in the previous year. It is likely that people will go ahead with their travel plans, as more than three out of four (86%) estimated that they would spend more or the same amount of money on travel than in the previous year. In particular, those between the ages of 35 and 65, and those who have travelled a lot in previous years are planning to spend more money on travel”, says Anne Lahtinen, research manager at Kantar TNS.
Help from travel agencies and tourism service providers
When booking a holiday trip, Finns increasingly rely on travel service providers and travel agencies. Some 66% book their holiday trips through the websites of airlines, ship companies, railway companies and bus companies, while 43% use the websites of travel agencies for booking their trips. Most accommodation, however, is booked through comparison shopping websites for hotels and other travel services, or directly from hotel websites.
“The vast majority of services related to Finns’ holiday travel are still booked through travel service providers or travel agencies. In particular, it is great to see travellers of all ages using the services of travel agencies to book their trips. In the realisation of themed trips, people trust the help of travel agencies even more than before, and this also holds true among the youngest age group interviewed”, says Heli Mäki-Fränti, managing director at the Association of Finnish Travel Agents, AFTA.
The holiday travel forecast also asked people about trips realised last year. Some 57% of the respondents said they had made one or two trips in 2018, while, on average, Finns made slightly fewer than three trips abroad during the year. The number of trips is mostly influenced by people’s eagerness and desire to travel, rather than their age or gender.