Ctrip, a Shanghai-based online travel agency, said the number of Chinese tourists who booked trips to Scandinavian countries through Ctrip in 2018 soared by 82%.
Chinese tourists mainly visited Scandinavia from May to September when the weather was warmer, said Shan Minmin, who is in charge of long-distance overseas trips in Ctrip. "Many of them also went there in winter to enjoy snow and skiing, and watch the aurora."
According to Ctrip, Finland was the most visited by Chinese tourists in 2018.
Sanna Karkkainen, managing director of Visit Rovaniemi, a northern Finnish region known for its Santa Claus Village, said the number of Chinese tourists to the region had risen significantly since 2015.
Cultural and lifestyle experiences became more popular among Chinese tourists to Rovaniemi, Karkkainen said.
As China gears up for the 2022 Winter Olympics, winter sports such as skating and skiing have become more popular among Chinese, providing huge potential for cooperation between the two countries.
Recently, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden jointly kicked off a tourism campaign to offer more distinctive travel experiences to Chinese visitors. They have developed gourmet food and lifestyle trips with an aim to present tourist experiences that are not well-known to Chinese travelers.