The tourism industry is one of the most comprehensive losers of the Corona era.
Flight cancellations, struggles with travel bans and financial uncertainty are plaguing both small and large businesses.
People are not afraid to travel the same way as before.
Despite all this, there is demand, even this fall.
According to Jens Rasmussen, Nordic Sales Director at Albatros Travel in Denmark, which organizes tours, trips are still sold in Finland despite the difficult situation.
- Times are tough.
However, we are happy that our trips for 2021 have been sold despite the fact that we are a relatively new player in Finland.
The company's situation is no easier in the other Nordic countries.
Headquartered in Copenhagen, the company is responsible for operations in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland.
In Poland, Albatros has its own office in Warsaw.
- I think people are now waiting for some kind of vaccine before making travel decisions, and that will be reflected in our sales in all countries, Rasmussen says.
There are also differences.
In Finland and Denmark, more bookings are currently made than in Sweden, Norway and Poland.
- I think it is due to the corona situation in different countries and the attitude towards it.
There have been many cases of corona in Sweden, so there the impact on us has been greatest.
The restrictions in force in Finland, Norway and Poland have been quite severe.
Of course, this has also affected sales in Finland, but we still have sales, and it is really positive.
The corona situation is evolving and changing rapidly in different countries, so long-term forecasts are difficult to make.
- In Finland, we follow the decisions made by the government and the travel recommendations of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, as well as the guidelines of the National Institute for Health and Welfare.
We will, of course, cancel trips to countries that are currently inaccessible.
At the moment, unfortunately, it looks like we will have to cancel the 2020 departures.
Some travel bookings have been made in Finland for this year as well.
Early autumn trips focus on European and domestic regions, but in November you can reach destinations in Africa and South America if you wish.
Currently, however, the greatest demand is for next summer and autumn travel packages.
The farther you go in time, the more.
- We are considered reliable.
We are a well-known family-owned brand, and customers know they will get their money back when the trip is canceled.
It has helped us a lot in this situation.
Some of the passengers who have since booked a canceled trip for the fall of 2020 have booked a new trip through us for 2021, and that is very good, Rasmussen says.
The future, like many other tourism companies, is uncertain.
However, according to Rasmussen, Albatros Travel's financial situation is good given the circumstances.
- We have to remember that we operate in five different markets.
We are very strong and we are not going bankrupt.
If the situation in one area deteriorates, we can act in other areas as well.
A change for the better can be seen, for example, in South Africa, where Albatros has its own office and safari camps.
- South Africa has already opened up to domestic tourism, and we have gained a lot of customers from there, which has helped to endure the bad situation elsewhere.
We have been able to replace international travelers in the area with locals.
The country will also open to foreign guests in October, so we will get more customers from at least some countries.
Albatros Travel is a tour company founded in 1986 in Copenhagen.
The company has been operating in Finland since spring 2013.