Russian tour operators refused of charter trains to Lapland due to low demand
In winter, Russian tour operators will not organize charter trains to Santa Claus's home in Rovaniemi, the press secretary of the Russian Union of Travel Industry Irina Tyurina reported. She explained that on winter holidays, tourists can get a regular train or plane. Before tour operator DSBW Tours put two charter trains to Rovaniemi on winter holidays, but last year was unable to fulfill them. This year, because of the low demand, the company will not arrange charter rail transportation, and will send tourists to Finland by charter flights, since tickets are € 100 cheaper than by the train. The company PAC Group also refused to block seats on charter trains due to low demand. To Rovaniemi, tourists will travel on airplanes and on regular trains. Until last year, Quinta Tour put four charter trains for winter holidays. Last year, this amount was cut by 50% because of lower sales. This year the company will not operate any charter train to Finland. As a result, there will be four consolidated charter flights to Rovaniemi for winter holidays: two for the New Year and two for Russian Christmas. Although tour operators are not sure that these flights will be filled and prepare if necessary to reduce the flight program to this region. In late August, the residence of Santa Claus in Rovaniemi declared bankrupt. Due to the outflow of Russian tourists last winter, the birthplace of winter wizard missed a third of its visitors. As a result, the office of the Finnish Santa owed tax service over 200 thousand euro. Later, a Scandinavian tour operator Lapland Safaris Group Ltda bought controlling stake in the company managing the residence in Rovaniemi.
Yury Mishchenko, graduated from Moscow Institute of Foreign Languages, has more than 15 years experience in tourism and travel. Working both in tour operator company as destination manager, and in travel agency as sales manager, he is focused on analysis of Russian tour operators’ daily routine. Recently, Yury works in Baginet Marketing and Sales Agency.