The City of Rovaniemi has successfully implemented ‘Nature Rovaniemi’, a project aimed at branding the Rovaniemi region as a nature tourism destination.
The €714,126 project fund was granted by the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centre). The project consisting of development of digital service and investments to improve the experience of walking in nature in the Rovaniemi region was launched in 1 November 2016 and was scheduled to end on 31 December 2018. It however had to be extended to 30 September 2019.
“The goals of the project were to create a brand for nature tourism in the Rovaniemi region and to highlight the experiences of arctic nature through branding, digital communication and marketing; therapeutic elements, recreation and well-being. The aim was also to increase tourists’ stays in the area and to develop a year-round tourism, especially summer tourism. The target group is tourism companies operating in the area,” Nature Rovaniemi Project Manager Aarno Torvinen told the Daily Finland.
The project was implemented by Metsähallitus, Parks and Wildlife Finland, Lapland University of Applied Sciences and the City of Rovaniemi, which is also the project management organisation. The project implementing partners were Visit Rovaniemi, Multidimensional Toursim Institute (MTI), Santa Sport and local travel and tourism industry companies
“The activities of the project included:
- Development of Nature Rovaniemi brand,
- Definition of a common quality level,
- Development of pilot projects,
- Development of digital communication: A panoramic camera, digital dashboards, digital signage and a digital map series, and
- Development of digital/ tracking with WALN access points and a mobile application,” said Torvinen.
The brand is used in the signposts of the main trails of the Arctic Circle Hiking Area, in digital services and in tourism marketing materials, said the project manager.
With the ‘Rovaniemi Nature’ brand, Rovaniemi is now known as a versatile, and modern, arctic nature destination. “The quality, and safety of high level nature services are developing. Customer volumes and business profitability will increase as companies make use of more digital tools and business concepts based on digital marketing and product development,” added Torvinen.
A lot of outdoor activity-related technological devices have been installed in Rovaniemi this year. It is expected to entice people to enjoy the city’s nature with their hiking apps, digital maps and beautiful panoramic photos.
The project wanted to highlight Rovaniemi’s nature travel potential as there seems to be an interest in these activities, project sources said.
The city’s recreational spots have taken their digital leap in the three-year Nature Rovaniemi project period. Complete this autumn, the city, Metsähallitus (state-owned forest management enterprise) and the Lapland University of Applied Sciences have developed easy-to-use services and a shared look for Rovaniemi’s nature guidance. New features have been given to trails of Könkäänsaari and Kielosaari in Vaattunkiköngäs as well as in Santa’s Forest at the Arctic Circle, walking trail of Nivavaara’s Puistolampi and Koivusaari’s nature close to the city centre.
All these locations have new information boards. They also have new map brochures for printed and digital distribution.
The Lapland University of Applied Sciences is continuing with the development of Rovaniemi Nature application. WiFi networks have been installed on hiking trails to ease the use of this app.
Metsähallitus intended to make a WiFi that works with solar panels and wind turbines, but the technology was not powerful enough for dense woodland. Power for the all-year connection is delivered via cable.
Koivusaari and Santa’s Forest both have two routers. Koivusaari’s routers are in Ounaspaviljonki and in bird-watching tower thus covering nearly the whole trail. The tower’s router is powered via solar and wind energy, running only in summer time.
WiFi in Santa’s Forest covers the beginning of the path and central parts of the forest. The latter router is battery-powered and dismantled for winter.
User traffic can be monitored through the app, and the trails in the project have customer counting devices. The counters are permanently fitted in Santa’s Forest, while the counters in Koivusaari and Puistolampi can be used in winter time to track skiing and snow mobile traffic. Some of the data gathered can be accessed in public online service.
City of Rovaniemi - Daily Finland Report