Finland is the homeland for very modest people, Finns.
We tend to shush and blush when someone compliments us and we easily get a bit awkward. At least that’s the stereotype of a Finn, according to Very Finnish Problems – and they are quite on point.
But how do we view our wonderful piece of land as a tourist attraction? We are a tad shy when it comes to telling what’s good and worth seeing here. It might be because we are more or less surrounded by it all the time, or at least by the possibilities of those.
We ran a study asking our Crowsters what’s their take on Finland’s level of attraction as a place someone would travel to. Humble as we are, we found a few things to compliment. In addition to those we found a few pain points which would need a little improvement.
Get ready for a fun ride through exquisites of Finland!
Fairly interesting, plenty of reasons to be proud of
Over 46% of nearly 1400 respondents think that Finland is fairly interesting country to travel to. Four out of five star rating has been given due to nature, pure and clean surroundings basically everywhere and the level of safety.
We do have an extraordinary nature here and it’s definitely something to be proud of! We do have 187,888 lakes within our borders and we take pride in them. We also have quite a few islands as well, so maybe we could utilise island hopping here as well, as they’ve done in Asia? Food for thought.
People also ranked Lapland high on the places they would recommend to foreigners – and not for the shabbiest of reasons! Lapland has its unique landscape, Northern lights, reindeers and great ski centers, not to forget about the one and only Santa Claus. And hey, we have a hotel concept of igloos, that’s something nobody else has!
Respondents mentioned also different activities one could do on their holiday. We do love our cottages on lakesides, our beautiful coastline with ferries having restaurants and bars in them, our amusement parks, Finnish design and Moomins. Every single of those things could be interesting for foreigners as well, when marketed accordingly.
In addition, we asked why do Crowsters travel within Finland and three biggest reasons were festivals, visiting new places out of curiosity and heading to our cottages. We have a huge serving of different festivals and exhibitions year around from massive EDM-festivals to heavy metal festivals to craft beer exhibitions and many more.
It’s cold, dark and expensive?
Things people found less appealing were coldness and gloomy weather. The fact that Finland is rather expensive place to travel in was mentioned more than few times as well. Our beloved homeland is also blessed with the lowest population density in the EU – this is definitely a blessing and a curse. Whereas we are blessed with having our untouched nature surrounding us even in the Capital Area, it also means long distances between cities. This was something our Crowsters wanted to point out as well with a request of having more versatile and affordable train and bus routes across Finland.
People would also like to see more affordable and varying hotels and other accommodation options around different corners of Finland.
Respondents found common opening hours and the lack of luxuries as something that downgrades Finland’s appeal too. Lutheran church calendar still affects opening hours on quite a few days per year, even though it has gotten a bit better in the bigger cities past couple of years. Lack of luxury concepts was found disturbing, since our Crowsters think that there’s no luxury hotels all around Finland, no luxury shopping places like in middle-Europe and we’re not branded as a luxury location.
But what is the brand for Finland?
Our Crowsters said that there isn’t a clear brand for our beautiful country. Many viewed Finland’s brand quite scattered, and relying strongly on Lapland and the Winter Wonderland –theme. On the other hand as a nation we are famous for our technological inventions and capabilities, level of safety and equality and our exceptionally good education system.
One respondent brought out the possibilities of AR and the fact that we don’t have the most appealing website and we are missing our own app. Why are we not seemingly utilizing our technological capabilities and inventions and take the thought leadership back on this matter?
Many of our respondents said that we aren’t marketing ourselves too well. Many viewed Finland’s marketing being played safely around nature, skiing and snowmobile safaris. Others said that we are not actually even branded yet and stereotypes of grumpy Finns sit tight.
Very Finnish Problems and Finnish nightmares have played around the stereotypes of Finns and Finland, and they’ve been doing it well. And how about Slush, mega-massive start-up event, which has originated from Finland and is now held all over our planet, in the largest of cities. They’ve been doing their branding and advertising well, and their welcome slogan for this year’s Slush was “Nothing normal ever changed a damn thing. Hey weirdos, step in.”
Maybe we don’t need to brand and market ourselves as Slush and VFP, but maybe we could be a bit more courageous on what and how we’re doing it?