What do you think about your children starting and ending their school summer holidays two weeks later?
A new government-backed report says it could be invaluable for Finland’s tourism industry to shift school holidays by a fortnight.
The report was commissioned by the Minister for Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä (Centre), and argues that moving school holidays would extend Finland’s domestic summer holiday season, which would in turn increase the supply of services for foreign tourists.
Tourists from southern Europe often take later summer holidays than Finns are used to, and while foreign tourism has been booming in recent years, domestic tourism has been falling behind. A shift in summer holidays by even two weeks could make Finland more inviting for foreigners who want to come throughout August.
“Moving the holidays would have positive impacts on tourism income and employment as well as on the general development of operating conditions for the tourism industry” says Lintilä.
“The tourism industry is a labour-intensive sector, and its growth would mean more balanced employment trends across the country. Tourism growth and improved services would create jobs even in areas where employment prospects otherwise are relatively poor” he adds.
The report concludes that August would become a busier month for tourism, overtaking July in terms of tourist income.
Today’s report is based on questionnaires sent out to Finnish tourist businesses, interviews with experts and analysis of tourism trends. The report’s authors say this is the first time anyone has studied the impact of moving school holidays on the country’s tourism industry, the economy, and employment.
The proposal would see school holidays begin on the last weekday of week week 24 (which is 15th June this year) instead of the last weekday of week 22 (which is 1st June this year). School holidays would come to an end at the end of August.
Minister Linitlä says he hopes there would be broad public discussion about the proposal, and that it could possibly be included in the agenda for the next government.