Finland, the country in the northern part of Europe, surrounded by Sweden from the west, Norwegian Arctic from the north, Russian Federation from the East and the Gulf of Finland from the south. With the population of more than five million people and the total area stretching across almost 350.000 km2 of land, Finland attracts more and more people every year.
Lapland is the biggest and northernmost part of the country, with the area close to 100.000 km2 and the total population to be reaching almost 200.000 what states about 3.6% of total Finnish residents. It is by far the least densely populated area in the country, however it presents the variety of cultures and languages from Northern, Inari and Skolt Sami.
International statistics show that the tourism industry in Lapland has been growing in recent years, but the Christmas traffic is still more popular than summer one, reaching up to 100.000 visitors every year.
International flight operators noticed significance in the increase of charts in last three years, what comparing to early 90s, doubles the number of passengers travelling to this part of Finland by air. The great number of visitors decides to pick December and January as a tourist season. It was estimated that approximately 170.000 come to Lapland during this time of year.
Statistics show that the tourism industry has been growing significantly with regards to number of employments in travel agencies and travel related services. There are close to 600 travel agencies and other travel related services in Northern Finland and it was measured that the number has grown close to 50 % over the last ten years.
Majority of the visitors come to Northern Finland from United Kingdom, Germany, France, Japan, Norway and Netherlands. The number of Russian visitors and tourists from other Scandinavian countries has been growing. Rovaniemi, being the capital city of Lapland, takes the majority of visitors every year and in the same time, offers the most room for the foreign comers.
Although the air traffic still covers the majority of travel to Finnish Lapland, cruises become more and more popular, especially among travelers from Asia and North America. Government expects the tourist traffic to increase in the future and the tourism industry to grow significantly also over the summer period. Opening of new shipping routes and brings additional challenges and opportunities to this part of the Arctic.
Source: Statistics Finland