Visit Rovaniemi, the local tourist board of the Rovaniemi region in Lapland, has shown significant success in attracting tourists to the official hometown of Santa Claus.
Visit Rovaniemi, the local tourist board of the Rovaniemi region in Lapland, has received the Communication of the Year award for its cooperation work and inventive marketing ideas. The Finnish Association of Communication Professionals (ProCom – Viestinnän ammattilaiset ry) conferred the award on June 6.
According to the association, Visit Rovaniemi has shown significant success in its communication activities in attracting tourists to the official hometown of Santa Claus under the stewardship of Visit Rovaniemi managing director Sanna Kärkkäinen.
Together with the City of Rovaniemi and local businesses, Visit Rovaniemi has laid the groundwork with very limited resources, the association’s jury said. It has reached out to tens of millions of international audiences, especially the Chinese.
The jury also lauded Visit Rovaniemi’s communication success in China and Korea courtesy of the television programme ‘We are in Love’, the popular television series the Bachelor’s season finale filmed in Lapland and a dozen other countries, as well as the Santa Claus having an account in Weibo, one of the most popular social sites in China.
Finland’s pristine nature with its Northern Lights and reindeer, as well as Santa Claus, attract nearly half a million overnight stays to Rovaniemi per year in registered accommodation facilities. The rapid increase in tourist flows stems largely from the efforts of Visit Rovaniemi, which has worked persistently to increase the region’s attractiveness and recognisability.
“We are honoured by the prize and it has brought a lot of good publicity to us, besides tourism being taken more ‘seriously’ as an industry among the business fields in Finland,” Kärkkäinen said.
She said tourism has an important role to play in internationalisation of Finland, adding “I have been contacted frequently by other businesses and people wanting to know what is going on in Rovaniemi.”
Rovaniemi’s tourism industry is driven by a tight-knit community formed by the city and a cluster of local companies that work together smoothly to develop the region and attract visitors. The City of Rovaniemi owns 51 per cent of Visit Rovaniemi, and partner companies own the remaining 49 per cent.
Rovaniemi has been a pathfinder in developing international tourism in Finland. Tourism companies have done a huge work over decades and succeeded well. Now Rovaniemi is attracting a lot of investments, which are partly a result of the long-term development cooperation. The City of Rovaniemi has also been doing a great job in offering cooperation to the investors.
Rovaniemi definitely is a key player in tourism in Finland and among the Nordic countries and will continue to further develop the sector.
“Together with the city and other businesses that own Visit Rovaniemi, we are deeply honoured by the prizes conferred to us”, Sanna Kärkkäinen added referring to the President’s Internationalisation Award given to the City of Rovaniemi and Visit Rovaniemi last year.
President Sauli Niinistö presented the 2016 Internationalisation Award to Rovaniemi Mayor Esko Lotvonen and Visit Rovaniemi Managing Director Sanna Kärkkäinen at the Presidential Palace on November 15, 2016 for their long-term cooperation in internationalising the city.
City of Rovaniemi-Daily Finland Report