Road to Recovery

An upbeat message about intra-regional travel in the Nordics

A new survey of regular cruise-ferry travellers in the Nordic region shows a strong appetite for regional travel, with shopping still high on the agenda for many. By Dermot Davitt.

A new survey by Tallink Grupp offers some positive signals about travel demand in the Nordic cruise & ferry channel for the Summer period. Many Estonians, Finns and Swedes say they are planning to travel within the region in the coming months, if conditions allow. That spells potential good news for short and long-haul cruise ferry travel and for travel retail, a key component of revenues for Tallink and other players in the market.

Tallink surveyed 5,600 Club One loyalty programme members in Estonia, Finland and Sweden this month to understand people’s willingness to travel.

In Estonia the vast majority of respondents plan to travel this Summer if travel restrictions are eased, with 54% indicating they would like to travel to Finland. Only 5% of the respondents said they would prefer to travel within their own country and 21% said that they would like to travel further afield than the Nordics and Baltics.

Travel to neighbouring countries is high on the agenda this Summer for Nordic nationalities polled by Tallink, providing restrictions are lifted

In Finland, the majority of respondents indicated that, if allowed, they would like to travel to Estonia and Sweden this Summer, with 48% saying they are planning to travel to Tallinn and 27% to Stockholm.

In Sweden the proportion of people planning to holiday at home this year was the largest of the three countries (46%), but around a quarter of the respondents there said they are planning to spend some time in neighbouring countries. 23% of Swedish respondents said they plan to travel to Helsinki, 20% to Tallinn and 11% to Riga. 14% of Swedish respondents also indicated their intention to travel elsewhere in Europe and only 4% said they do not plan to travel anywhere at all.

Around half of respondents in all three countries said they would like to go on a short cruise to neighbouring countries this summer, if restrictions are lifted.

When asked about the most important elements on a cruise when travel restrictions are lifted, respondents in Estonia highlighted entertainment (62%), enhanced safety measures for virus prevention onboard (60%) and shopping opportunities (58%). For Tallink that is a key figure, with 56% of all income deriving from the commercial business (shops and restaurants).

In Sweden those polled highlighted enhanced safety measures for virus prevention (32%), food & drink (31%) and good value cabin prices (15%). In a separate survey in Finland, respondents indicated that safe travel (75%) and hygiene (71%) and a good selection of F&B (68%) topped the list of things considered important on a cruise once restrictions are lifted.

Tallink Grupp CEO Paavo Nõgene says: “Our survey clearly shows that the people in the Baltic sea region countries are making plans for this summer and these plans predominantly focus on the possibilities and options they have close to home. The residents of Estonia, Finland and Sweden are understandably weary of travelling to distant shores right now while the pandemic situation globally is far from over, but there is also some weariness of staying at home for too long and clearly some desire there to at least go exploring somewhere near home and somewhere safe.

“Estonians, Finns and Swedes are clearly continuously monitoring the epidemic situation in neighbouring countries closely and some travel confidence has been boosted due to a fairly similar pandemic situation in the Baltics and most of the Nordics. The recent improvement in the situation in the Baltics and Finland has led to the survey results we see today whereby travelling to neighbouring countries is very much on the agenda for this summer, providing restrictions are lifted.”

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The Moodie Davitt eZine

Issue 280 | 3 June 2020

The Moodie Davitt eZine is published 12 times per year by The Moodie Davitt Report (Moodie International Ltd). © All material is copyright and cannot be reproduced without the permission of the Publisher. To find out more visit and to subscribe, please e-mail

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