The Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK) has urged the central and regional administrations to invest in the tourism industry by drawing attention to studies suggesting that such investments could lead to the creation of up to 40,000 new jobs over the next eight years.
“The state and municipalities should invest in marketing Finland and in tourism education,” states Jukka Kärnä, an industry policy expert at SAK.
Investments, he says, are also required to improve the functioning of airports and border-crossing points in Finland.
“A variety of tax incentives could create jobs. Ski resorts, for example, would benefit if the central administration moved energy-intensive service sectors exposed to global competition to a lower tax bracket,” continues Kärnä.
He believes such investments could allow the domestic tourism industry to generate demand also outside the current two peak seasons. SAK points out that taking advantage of all twelve months of the year would promote employee retention in an industry where temporary and part-time work, long working hours and low wages are common.
“The tourism industry would benefit from a remuneration and bonus system that increases the earnings and productivity of employees. The development work should include not only the employees but also employee and employer organisations. Improving the possibilities of employees to have an impact would also increase productivity,” views Kärnä.
SAK gauges that the tourism industry has grown by three to four per cent per annum in recent years. Tourism consumption, it adds, is projected to rise from the current 13.5 billion to 20 billion euros and export earnings generated by international tourism from roughly 4.5 billion to 8 billion euros per year in the coming years.
Kärnä also predicts that tax revenues generated by the industry for the central and regional administrations will grow substantially from the current five billion euros.
“The jobs will certainly stay in Finland, because it is impossible to outsource the main factors attracting tourists [to Finland]: Lapland and relaxing nature experiences,” he adds.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Kaisa Siren – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi