Thomas Cook bankruptcy deals major blow to Finnish Lapland tourism

2019-09-24 03:30:17 GMT2019-09-24 11:30:17(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

HELSINKI, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- The bankruptcy of Thomas Cook also has an impact on tourism in Finland as the British tourism industry conglomerate has been one of the four major operators bringing visitors to Lapland, Finland's northernmost region.

The winter tourism season has not yet started and, unlike in southern Europe, no tourists were reported left stranded in Lapland.

Sanna Karkkainen, CEO of Visit Rovaniemi (the capital of Lapland), told the local newspaper Lapin Kansa that other tour operators could well take over the market share of Thomas Cook in Lapland, but the time of the company's bankruptcy was particularly unfortunate.

"British tourists have always been the first arrivals to start the season, and the early part of the season may not be rearranged at such short notice," Karkkainen said on Monday.

She said that the Brits and the French were the largest buyers of program services in Lapland. "The Chinese spend the most money, but not on programs," she said.

Thomas Cook was flying in both British and French tourists.

Veli-Pekka Pitkanen, Lapland area director at the Finnish airport operator Finavia, told Lapin Kansa that out of the 779 charter flights serving Lapland last year 10 percent were operated by Thomas Cook Airlines. "They were an important customer," he said.