In the summer of 2020, the Lapland Tourism Industry Association launched scenario work on the post-Covid-19 scenarios for Lapland tourism. The scenario work analyzed the changes brought about by the corona pandemic from the global operating environment to regional and company-specific effects until 2025. In addition, the effects of the wider trends, consumer behavior and the competitive situation in the sector were identified.
The scenarios serve as a tool for the development of the entire ecosystem of the tourism industry as well as for the development of the individual company’s and the Tourism Area’s own operations. The scenario work was carried out with an ERDF-funded project granted by the Federation of Lapland.
The scenario work sought answers to the following questions:
• How will tourism recover from a corona pandemic?
• What permanent changes will the corona pandemic leave for tourism?
• How will the global and Finnish economies survive the corona pandemic?
• How will businesses survive and thrive through corona pandemic?
• What will be the purchasing power of consumers in 2025?
• How does climate change affect the weather and seasons in Lapland?
• Can tourism operators influence consumer behavior (eg. through the provision of a service)?
Based on the scenario work, four scenarios for tourism in Lapland were formed:
In the multidimensional crisis scenario, the corona pandemic will last for several years. Closure measures and the uncertainty of international trade are escalating into a global recession. In the absence of common travel restrictions and uncertainty, most international tourists stay in holiday destinations in their home countries. The poor economic situation in Lapland and the bankruptcies of small businesses are leading to narrowing the field of tourism.
In the terms of East scenario, China’s effective control mechanism will help the pandemic to cope better than the rest of the world, increasing China’s political and economic power. As Europe is hit by the post-crown economic crisis, China will have the opportunity to increase investment in Europe, including in tourism. Asian tourists will spend more time in Lapland, as more and more trips are combined with other Nordic countries, for which Lapland airports act as intermediate points.
In the European travel community scenario, Europe’s flexible restrictive measures and co-operation will allow life to go on better than the rest of the world. As the climate crisis continues; signs of snow-free winters are also starting to show in Lapland. Tranquility and nature are seen as the luxury of global tourism trends. Unpopularity of the increasingly hot resorts in the south is straining Lapland’s summer tourism and the year-round nature of tourism is increasing. The flexible booking conditions for package tours and the perspective of flight durability weigh on the tourist’s decision-making.
In the international Nordic platform scenario, the corona pandemic will be resolved through international cooperation once the vaccine has entered the market and has a good protective effect. In this scenario the international tourism is recovering and growing. The security of the Finnish Lapland and the strengthening values of tourists, such as the appreciation of nature and peace, make the volume of international tourism in Lapland increase all year round. In addition, international digital giants are strengthening their role in the tourism industry and integrating smaller players into their platforms.
Action plans for each scenario:
Based on the scenarios, the necessary actions that needs to be taken by the tourism operators have been described, regardless of which scenario realizes in the future. In addition, a contingency plan has been created for the realization of each scenario, which gives direction to what the actors should emphasize if the world evolves to a certain scenario.
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