Lack of snow harms Lapland´s "white wonderland" image
04 Dec 2018, 01:14 ( 9 days ago) | updated: 04 Dec 2018, 01:18 ( 9 days ago)
Winter tourism to Finnish Lapland has suffered from the unusual lack of snow this winter.
Particularly tourists from the United Kingdom have been disappointed. Several British tour organizers have canceled their charter flights.
Among the eleven chartered flights originally planned to land in Enontekio, northwestern Lapland during the last week, only three were actually flown, national broadcaster Yle reported.
Joni Nojonen, the director of the Tornio airport, told Yle that one of the Enontekio flights was canceled when it had already taken off from the UK. Nojonen underlined that the conditions at the airport did not cause the calling-off.
December charters from the UK have been a growing trend for over two decades. Finnish Lapland is marketed in the UK mainly as a "white snow winter wonderland". Earlier in November British travel writers described Lapland as "crapland".
Lack of snow has not affected incoming tourist flow from other countries and continents. In marketing for Asians, the possibility of seeing Northern Lights has been accentuated, and snow does not impact the availability of the Northern Lights. Northern lights are actually more evident against a dark terrain.
The Finnish Meteorological Institute told Yle earlier that in November the depth of snow in Lapland was the thinnest since measurements began in 1961. There were local differences though.
Juha-Pekka Mikkola, an entrepreneur offering activities to tourists, told Yle that alternative programming has been arranged, but purchased services have also been reimbursed. Rides in sleighs driven by huskies have been replaced with husky driven carriages.
Yle reported that in some tourist hotels snow from last winter has been storaged. But it has been used only in days with sub-zero temperatures, as in warm weather it would melt away soon. Service providers have also purchased snow.
For the pre-Christmas and Christmas weeks, some 700 charter flights have been planned. They are supposed to land in Kittilä, Rovaniemi, Ivalo, Enontekiö and Kuusamo airports.