Most travellers are here to visit the Santa Claus Village and experience the snow and, if lucky enough, the northern lights.
Come winter and Christmas, come tourists from across the globe to Rovaniemi, the official hometown of Santa Claus, to experience the land of myths, beauty and festivity.
But how do the foreign visitors fare here? To know that and to know their mind and impressions, the Daily Finland interviewed a few foreign tourists individually in the city.
Although motivations to visit Rovaniemi may vary from person to person, most of them are here to visit the Santa Claus Village and experience the snow and, if lucky enough, the northern lights.
The interviewees seemed quite satisfied with the northern light tour packages offered by local travel operators. “We did not see the northern lights, still we are happy with the tour guide and the services of Easy Tour,” said Sylvia Chandler who came with Nathan Chandler from Australia.
Meeting the almost mythical personality of Santa is not the sole reason why so many people go to the Santa Claus Village: the free entry to this dreamland almost round the year is also a key factor, said Lim Zen Yang, a student of 23 from Malaysia. It is his first visit to Rovaniemi.
Many of the tourists also want to see where Santa and his reindeer live and send letters home and to friends with the unique postmark of the Santa Claus Main Post Office, the only place where one can get it in the world. Makoto Kashiwada and Suzu Kadena from Japan expressed satisfaction at the services received in the village.
Husky ride and reindeer sledging are also two other top favourite services. Most of the interviewees sounded contented.
“The information desk in the city centre is really helpful. I can manage to go around the city with the help of a map and street signs,” said Xing Yi Hong hailing from China.
Lim Zen Yang said his visits to the Arktikum Museum and the Pilke Science Centre were nothing short of “eye-opening experience”, but, he said, the Santa Claus Village should be a “must-visit place in one’s life”.
Noticeably, most of the interviewees were from Asian countries. There has recently been a steady rise in the number of Asian tourists to Rovaniemi. Clearly, Asia is now one of the most potential tourism markets for Rovaniemi.
City of Rovaniemi-Daily Finland Report
Sylvia and Nathan Chandler and their children came to Rovaniemi from Australia.