Not only is Finland an important market for TUI, but the country is also a destination in its own right. The province of Lapland in northern Finland is a favorite winter holiday spot for TUI’s customers and over the coming season, TUI will fly nearly 50,000 holidaymakers to Lapland from the UK, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal.
The work to create a true TUI Winter Wonderland starts months in advance. This year’s preparations began in June and right now 200 elves, 56 reps and 33 entertainers from the TUI family are based in Rovaniemi, Kittilä and Ivalo. All of them are dedicated to making holidaymakers’ Christmas dreams come true this holiday season. Guests will enjoy snowmobile rides, cookie making, sleigh rides around the snow village and last but not least, a visit to Santa Claus himself.
Finland is also the place where TUI’s cruise ships are built. The Meyer Turku shipyard in the southern Finnish city of Turku built two vessels for TUI Cruises in 2018 and 2019 and in June of this year, construction began on another cruise ship for TUI’s fleet: the Mein Schiff 7.
“I am so excited to visit Finland and the incredibly beautiful Lapland. Finland is not only a very important destination for us, but the country is also an important partner for the entire TUI Group because some of our cruise ships are manufactured here. This season, a record number of guests will travel with TUI to Finnish Lapland and discover its wintery magic. Together with our partners from Finavia, the hoteliers and people of Rovaniemi, we are happy to offer holidaymakers experiences that they will remember for the rest of their lives,” said Sebastian Ebel, CEO of the TUI Group. “Furthermore, investment in a modern airline fleet has been an essential part of TUI’s sustainability agenda for many years now. With our new Boeing 737-8 airplane named Rovaniemi, we continue on our journey of becoming Europe’s most fuel-efficient airline,” Ebel added.
“TUI naming its new aircraft Rovaniemi symbolizes the great cooperation between the travel industry partners in the Lapland area. TUI is an important customer for Finavia and we are grateful for the long partnership together! Over the last few years, we have invested heavily in improving customer experience and customer service as well as redeveloping our airports in Lapland. We have also increased cooperation with our partners to market Finland as a holiday destination in order to attract visitors to experience the magical North”, said Petri Vuori, Vice President, Sales and Route Development at Finavia.
“It is a great honour for Rovaniemi – The Official Hometown of Santa Claus® because our long-term winter holiday partner and true Lapland specialist, TUI, has given the name Rovaniemi to one of their aircraft. Rovaniemi is the starting point for all Christmas holidays in Lapland and our region has charmed British and Dutch holidaymakers for decades. This winter, we expect a full season and a strong tourism recovery, which will mean record-breaking winter months for Rovaniemi”, said Sanna Kärkkäinen, CEO of Visit Rovaniemi.
“This time of the year is very special to me because on the one hand, TUI´s Finnish customers go on holiday to warmer and sunnier destinations such as the Canary Islands and Thailand; but at the same time I am proud to welcome tens of thousands of TUI holidaymakers to my home country to experience the magic of Lapland,” said Peik Martin, Marketing and Sales Director, TUI Nordic.
“We want to highlight our local partnerships externally, so we will be naming our new airplanes after destinations in our holiday and partner countries. We are aiming to emphasise that tourism links people, regions and cultures. By giving our TUI Airline airplanes the names of our partner destinations, they will become ambassadors of the regions and highlight our partnership with the area,” added Dawn Wilson, COO of TUI Airline, after the name-giving ceremony where Santa Claus himself inaugurated TUI’s new Rovaniemi plane with a handful of snow.