Finland - Finnish Lapland
In Finland, tourism operators utilize information that helps them forecast trends, future needs and demand that affect their line of business. Different tourism related information is collected and observed in order to have a comprehensive understanding of their position and current state of the business. The production of statistics, company registers, price analysis and other comparable and reliable data from tourism industry is important for entrepreneurs in Finnish Lapland. Tourism entrepreneurs in Finnish Lapland feel that it is important to understand the target customers and end users. Demand and other market information is important for the practitioners and they need feasible research data of their markets. More knowledge of product and service marketing is obviously needed among the practitioners as to enable them to recognize potential target customers and appreciate their needs and interests.
In addition, operators in Finnish Lapland need flexible training in several fields. Firstly, the Finnish entrepreneurs are not familiar with the accurate definition of the Barents Region nor do they perceive the region in a similar way. In order to establish partnerships and cooperation, it is crucial for the stakeholders to comprehend the region in a similar way. Subsequently, more specialized training on the Barents region as a distinctive tourism area and in terms of its strengths and opportunities would enable the tourism operators to better exploit and utilize the full potential of the area in cooperation with each other. Thus, culture knowledge and linguistic competence could contribute to enhanced cross-border cooperation and easier communication between cross-border partners. In particular, Russian language is seen as an important asset in customer service as well as in business-to-business cooperation.
Also, information technology, e-commerce and tourism marketing are fields in which the operators need further training. In addition, know-how in legislation issues and commercial law are important for the tourism practitioners in Finnish Lapland. Also, more knowledge on the different business customs in the Barents is needed. Training in financial management and economics was suggested as to enable the practitioners to manage their businesses more efficiently.
The operators do not see the mutual benefits of cooperation as many perceive other operators merely as competitors. Disseminating information on how to cooperate in profitable ways and efficiently among different tourism operators could contribute to greater mutual benefits.