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Finnish Hospitality Heroes

Credits: Vastavalo / Juha Määttä

Press release, Helsinki, 30 June 2021

When the pandemic hit, Finnish travel companies and the entrepreneurs behind them did not sit still but looked for new ways of working. Now, Visit Finland tells the inspiring stories of these heroes and shows how they have managed to combine health safety with magnificent, innovative travel experiences.
Credits: Vastavalo / Juha Määttä

Visit Finland celebrates Finnish Hospitality Heroes while leisure travel restarts

From the outset, Finland is a great country for post-pandemic travel. The country is known for its nature, room to roam, inherent personal distances and the world’s cleanest air. Finland is also serious about cleanliness, safety and social stability.

“Finns don’t give up easily, and our travel industry let their creativity fly. Entrepreneurs sought out innovations, created new, safe experiences and helped others. Essentially, they prepared for a new era of health-conscious travel, something our country’s assets are perfect for”, stresses Kristiina Hietasaari, Head of Visit Finland at Business Finland.

Visit Finland is presenting eight inspiring stories about unrelenting travel industry heroes and their courage during the pandemic.  From late June, Visit Finland will be highlighting these heroes on their social media channels and website.These stories show the Finnish travel companies’ tireless work to create safe and memorable experiences for their guests.. The highlighted heroes also share a strong ambition to develop the Finnish travel industry and advance its sustainability.

“As for the future, we believe that wellbeing, authenticity and sustainability will continue to trend upwards. Our goal is to make Finland the most sustainably growing destination in the Nordics”, Hietasaari states.

Get to know the Finnish Hospitality Heroes and their inspiring stories:

Joonas Nurmi

Helsinki Citycopter is a company that was born out of the pandemic. The company provides sustainable luxury helicopter flights over Helsinki as well as flights to other destinations, including the Archipelago and wildlife watching locations. They also provide transfers to and from Helsinki Airport, meaning you can reach your flight without setting foot inside the airport.

Credits: Markus Hyvärinen

Henri Alén

Ever the brave Chef and culinary influencer did not stand still when the pandemic hit. During the lockdown, he organised a week-long charity event where thousands of top-notch dishes were provided to people who usually do not get to enjoy fine dining. What’s more, he also worked together with scientists to discover successful new ways of battling the virus in his restaurants.

Credits: Markus Hyvärinen

Maija Suutarinen

The charming Hakamaa Sheep Farm in Petäjävesi, Central Finland, managed to play the pandemic to their advantage by developing new, virus-safe services, such as relaxing forest escapes and virtual sheep encounters for remote meetings. They also have a small farm shop selling own and local products and are soon opening a restaurant with the help of crowdfunding.

Credits: Markus Hyvärinen

Kirsi and Mark Heidt

The café chain Valkoinen Puu doubled their operations during the pandemic. Their cafés in Seinäjoki, Kauhajoki, Tampere and Jyväskylä serve delectable cakes and other treats that are made with ingredients from local producers. The essence of their business is mood, interior design, baked goods, food and coffee accompanied by great service.

Credits: Markus Hyvärinen

Jussi Paavoseppä

The novel and chic The Barö archipelago hotel opened in June 2021, providing incredible experiences in the Inkoo Archipelago. Located only an hour from Helsinki, the attractive boutique hotel also provides contactless service for safe visits. The hotel is built with eco-friendly natural materials. Sustainability have been part of the new hotel from the very start.

Credits: Markus Hyvärinen

Janne Leinonen

Savonlinna’s Vip Cruise allows passengers to travel safely in the mesmerising labyrinth of Lake Saimaa. One of their main attractions is the newly renovated steamboat S/S Paul Wahl, renewed during the pandemic. They offer a unique luxury experience for all senses.

Credits: Markus Hyvärinen

Juha Kuukasjärvi

Hotel Iso-Syöte is a great example of Finnish determination. When ravaged by fire, the owners doubled down and built anew. Not even the pandemic has slowed them down, and now travellers get to enjoy a new design-driven hotel with top-level experiences in grand scenery, located atop a fell next to a serene national park.

Credits: Markus Hyvärinen

Lauri Sassali

Kota-Husky in Posio, Lapland, provides adventures with huskies in the magical Riisitunturi National Park. A pioneer of sustainable travel and animal welfare, the company has received the Sustainable Travel Finland label. By finding new customers, the company has survived the toughest times and is now looking forward to welcoming international travelers again.

Credits: Markus Hyvärinen

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For more information on healthy and safe travel, and inspiring destinations in Finland, visit https://www.visitfinland.com/en/practical-tips/health-and-safety/

About Visit Finland

Visit Finland, a unit of Business Finland, is a national authority on tourism and an active force in promoting international travel to Finland. Its main goal is to develop Finland’s international image as a destination. Visit Finland supports the travel industry through research and helps businesses and groups develop products and services for the international market. For more information, please visit www.visitfinland.com.