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Chinese tourists' enthusiasm for winter sports boosts Finnish tourism growth

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-12-24 09:20
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HELSINKI -- The rising number of Chinese tourists has contributed to the growth of Finnish tourism, according to Finnish national broadcaster Yle.

Citing booking numbers from Visit Finland, the report said a total of 140,000 Chinese tourists are coming to Finland from December 2019 to February 2020, up 16 percent from last winter.

Direct flights from China to Finland are the driving force for the tourist growth. China's Juneyao Air, Tibet Airlines and Sichuan Airlines all started flights to Helsinki in 2019.

Finland's national carrier Finnair also started to offer thrice weekly flights to Beijing Daxing International Airport this autumn, in addition to the seven weekly flights to Beijing Capital International Airport.

Among popular attractions for Chinese tourists are Lapland, Finland's northernmost region, and the Paljakka ski resort in Puolanka, a small town in central Finland with only 2,600 residents.

About 200 Chinese tourists visited the resort in 2018. This year the number has soared to 500. Due to the small size of Paljakka, Chinese tourists arriving around Christmas this year have to be divided into eight groups and take turns to visit the resort, the report noted.

Mika Puuronen, CEO of North Finlandia Travels Company, which runs hotels and skiing trails in Paljakka, told Yle that the challenge for the company is insufficient hotel beds and they are trying to address it.

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