Finland - Finnish Lapland
Difficult accessibility, long distances and remoteness are seen as obstacles and challenges for tourism in the Barents Region. Infrastructure and the condition of roads are claimed to be rather good in Finland, but the west-east road connections are inadequate south-northward roads being predominant. In Finland and within the Barents Region in general, travel connections are poor, and reaching tourism destinations and resorts in Finnish Lapland is difficult due to poor transportation linkages. The Finnish interviewees note that in the other Barents countries infrastructure and roads are in unsatisfactory condition. Especially travelling to east is seen as a challenge due to poor condition of roads, infrastructure and the border crossing. Furthermore, it seems that there are currently too few flight connections within the Barents Region. A small number of different flight operators is seen as a problem, causing elevation of the prices.
Russian visa is seen as a challenge and an obstacle among tourism entrepreneurs in Finnish Lapland, especially among the operators located in Eastern Lapland near the Russian border. Travelling to Russia is seen more difficult due to the visa procedures being a possible obstacle for the development of international tourism and cooperation. Moreover, causing more arranging for travel organizers and tourism providers, it has led to less work effort toward the eastern tourism.
In Finland, it has been noted that there are only few channels that provide information of the Barents Region operators in the Internet. The investments for maintaining and enhancing those channels have been poor. Entrepreneurs also feel that Finnish resorts are not enough promoted, for example, in Russia. Enhancing access to the information, e.g. creating more easily accessible and reachable distribution channels such as functional Internet pages is required. More resources should be allocated for the creation and maintenance of such information channels.