A record number of summer cottages have been booked compared to the time.
Bounds leisure tourism has been almost completely stalled for more than a year due to the corona pandemic. Last summer, the cancellation of trips abroad led to a busy tourist summer and ample booking of cottages in Finland.
The trend seems to continue this year, as summer cottages have been booked in many places much more than usual and earlier than usual.
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Holiday tire managing director Juha-Pekka Olkkola says that cottage reservations are already being made eagerly. For example, compared to March 2019, almost a third more cottages have been booked.
“Right now, it’s a pretty fast pace for the summer. Compared to normal March, we have 30 percent more booking stock inside, ”says Olkkola.
He believes the coming summer will follow last summer’s trend.
“Last summer was an all-time cottage summer when people couldn’t get to travel abroad.”
The most popular places are, as usual, the destinations of Lake Saimaa and the rest of Lake Finland. Olkkola says that last year Finns were also less enthusiastic about traditional travel destinations.
“Last summer, people started to find destinations in the north and Kainuu that are not quite traditional summer vacation destinations.”
Lomarengas has returned to comply with the same booking and cancellation conditions as before the corona epidemic. Specific articles on the epidemic are therefore no longer included in the conditions. According to Olkkola, this is to ensure that the cottage is not left empty.
“There are newcomers.”
Also Go Saimaa Development Director Katja Vehviläinen believes that the popularity of domestic tourism, which began last year, will continue.
“Positive signs are in the air. Smaller entrepreneurs have signaled that reservations have been made quite well, ”says Vehviläinen.
Last summer, domestic tourists made up for the shortage of foreign tourists, and this seems to be repeated next summer as well. According to Vehviläinen, the biggest disadvantage in this matter is the shortening of the holiday season.
“From the point of view of domestic tourism, summer is too short. International customers have always extended the tourist season. ”
Vehviläinen does not believe that a group of tourists book cottages from home and then cancel them if they could travel abroad.
“I think the corona situation will have the effect of wanting to stay in our own conditions and watch the world develop for at least some time.”
In the peer trade, cottage rentals are made diligently.
“The category has been really lively all year. There has been a lot of demand for holiday homes, ”says Tori.fi’s peer trade expert Laura Kuusela says.
For example, in January, the holiday home section of Tori.fi was visited by 315,000 individual users, which is 49 per cent more than in January last year.
Sociology professor and consumer researcher Terhi-Anna Wilska The University of Jyväskylä believes that domestic tourism will continue to pull this summer. It is especially popular among people who did not get to travel last summer but heard praise for domestic tourism.
“It can have a bit of imitation behavior. Those who have praised how wonderful nature is at the edge of nature last summer have attracted others who did not realize to book cottages last summer and scolded the city, ”says Wilska.
According to him, many can book a cottage in time to ensure that on holiday you can get at least somewhere away from home.
“We are ready to book trips abroad even at the last drop, because it doesn’t make sense to book them terribly in advance.”
However, Wilska does not believe in a phenomenon completely similar to last year.
“I don’t think domestic tourism will have quite the same hype as last year. The charm of novelty is gone, ”he estimates.
“But if tourism is not recommended in Finland, yes, people want to go somewhere. The difference is how excited we are about it. The phenomenon of visiting Koli or the Norwegian Lofoten Islands may already be small last season. ”
Provided If you get abroad in the summer, Wilska estimates that a significant number of Finns will go on a trip.
“If Europe’s tourist countries open up and Finland’s situation improves – as it will very likely improve by the summer – it is quite possible that many will head south as soon as possible. Yes, there are those travel desires, ”he says.
“Certainly more travel than last year, but hardly in the same way as before the corona. Once the cottages have been purchased and booked, they will be used. ”
The passion to travel abroad is also likely to depend on the organization of Finnish events. If events are not organized but you can travel abroad, Wilska estimates that the enthusiasm for traveling is hard.
Part however, Finns do not go on a trip abroad because of its riskiness, even if Travel is possible. In addition, testing and vaccination certificates cause work.
“Next summer will be divided so that some will be in Finland and some will go abroad if they can,” Wilska says.
Wilska does not believe in a significant reduction in foreign tourism in the long run. However, he thinks people can consider their travels more closely in the future.
Also for ecological reasons, shorter journeys may decrease, and instead long journeys with more financial investment may increase.
“Little by little, the desire to travel is recovering, I don’t believe in a permanent change in behavior.”
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