The flow of Chinese tourists to the Arctic takes a leap forward as Fliggy, the travel service of giant Chinese company Alibaba, brings the first travellers to the north in three pilot groups.
A total of approximately 90 passengers fly from China to Oulu on March 15, 17 and 21. From Oulu, the groups go on to Tromsø on Arctic Airlink flights, and further on to Kirkenes on the Hurtigruten before travelling southward via Ivalo and Rovaniemi.
The Chinese visitors are travelling with a semi-organised FIT (Free Independent Traveller) plan: they have purchased a package containing the skeleton of their itinerary: flights, airport transportation and accommodation. In some destinations, the package may include optional, added services and activities for extra charge.
These incoming pilot groups are the first Chinese FIT travellers coming to Oulu and flying on Arctic Airlink. As the biggest city and hub of a large northern area, Oulu is an important gateway to the Arctic region also in a concrete sense: the fast and handy Arctic Airlink connection to Tromsø brings significant added value to tourists coming from Asia, for example.
The large Chinese traveller groups are especially interested in Lapland and northern Norway, and Arctic Airlink can therefore be a natural part of their journey up north through Oulu.
The groups brought by Fliggy are a result of work done by a project called Attractive Oulu Region in China during the past two years. A partner in the collaboration is Arctic China, the biggest incoming travel organiser for Chinese tourist groups in Lapland.
”If the pilot groups are successful and the customers are happy with the product, we can realistically expect the number of Fliggy groups flying on Arctic Airlink to grow up to 10 next winter”, says Tang Chao, the CEO of Arctic China from Rovaniemi.