Finnish Lapland Entrepreneurs Warn Coronavirus Restrictions Could Destroy Tourism
Tourism entrepreneurs in the northern Lapland region of Finland have warned the government that further Wuhan coronavirus restrictions could destroy their industry and could put tens of thousands of jobs at risk.
The Association of Tourism Industries of Lapland (LME) wrote a letter to the Finnish government this week expressing concern about the impact of Wuhan coronavirus restrictions, saying that restrictions could shut down international tourism and could impact many businesses in the region.
“Only a few infections have been detected in international tourists in the Lapland Hospital District, and the trend is declining due to the strict entry restrictions just imposed and the fact that these tourists have very few contacts with outsiders and the risks of infection can be minimised quite effectively,” the LME said, broadcaster YLE reports.
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At least 300,000 international overnight stays are expected in Lapland in January but the LME fears that restrictions could lead to a surge of cancellations after the government of Prime Minister Sanna Marin stated last week that full closure of restaurants across the country could be on the table if infections worsen.
Lapland largely relies on international tourism, according to YLE, which states that the majority of tourism in the region comes from international travel.
A possible shutdown could cost tens of thousands of jobs in the area, according to the LME, which stated that the companies were being put in an “economically unsustainable situation.”
The LME, instead, advocates for more restrictive vaccine passports to keep businesses open, saying, “The coronavirus passport should be kept in use and genuinely made a ‘vaccination passport’ that safeguards the rights of vaccinated citizens to work, livelihood and leisure.”
Other European countries, such as Italy, have already enacted stricter coronavirus health pass measures that only allow those fully vaccinated or those recovered from the virus to engage in various activities, such as dining indoors at restaurants and bars.
Despite the introduction of the “Super Green Pass”, Italian hotel revenues have plummeted as much as 65 per cent in cities and a 55 per cent drop on average across the entire country.