Yes – we have Luxury Tourism in Finland (Eng)

Luxury doesn´t mean same for all of us

It´s not easy to define luxury in Tourism business. We all have different kind of thoughts when thinking of luxury or deluxe. Some of you might think of Dubai and the luxurious shopping possibilities whilst someone else may think about luxurious hotels with marble, crystal chandeliers, Champagne, servants and flights by private jets. Luxury is something we don´t have in our everyday life, something special, isn´t it?

For being so personal and subjective item, it is also very sensitive branch in Tourism business to promote and sell. It´s all about customers´ needs and wishes – and once customer arrives to your place or destination,  you still need to exceed expectations. The success of Luxury Tourism requires very good image marketing – and perfect Service Design.


Rural houses in Asturias, Spain.

I had a boyfriend years ago who wanted to take me to the best five star all-inclusive holiday resorts close to golf courses for holidays and didn´t understand at all why I prefered to stay in small rural houses in the middle of nowhere.

Our expectations of luxury were different – and as you possibly guess- our relationship didn´t last for long – not only because of our different ways to spend holidays but because of our different values of life.

International definitions

I hereby sum some notes about Luxury and Luxury Tourism. I found some information about Luxury Tourism gathered in one blog  : World Tourism Forum

According to that blog  ”Luxury tourism is considered as niche tourism industry as it serves customers providing unique, authentic ‘excess’ service, so that customer won’t need to worry about the organization or lack of amenities.”

Pam Danziger, internationally known market researcher and writer has told that luxury can be separeted to ”old luxury” and ”new luxury”. According to her old luxury is something that only rich people can have, it´s  a way of life based on money and materia whilst new luxury is based on experiences and feelings.

She also define luxury as following:

Luxury should be all-encompassing, it should tell you a story, luxury need to meet the needs of the customer, it must comply with costumer values and luxury should make the customer feel special.

How about Luxury Tourism in Finland

My friend,  owner and CEO of ToolBox-travel marketing & Consulting company Kari Halonen, talked about Luxury Tourism in Matka- Travel Fair last January (2016) in Helsinki. Kari also used the definition of  Pam Danziger as base of the research he had done in Finland. You can read the results of Kari´s research in Finnish opening this link: ToolBox-travel


Sunset in Levi

While listening to him I started to think about luxury Tourism in Finland. According to the research done by ToolBox-travel there are three different kinds of Luxury Tourism:

  1. Luxury – Luxus
    • five star standard,  about the same as old luxury
  2. Incentive Luxury
    • ”once in the lifetime”- experiences, demanding money and lot of work as well as special environment
  3. Experimential Luxury
    • highlighting authenticity, based on nature and cultural values, customer service respecting the locality, first class service taking  into account the local level ( new luxury)

My experience and observation in Lapland

I was lucky to have an opportunity to visit probably the best known Luxury Tourism company in Finland, Levi Spirit Luxury Villas in Lapland. This is how they define luxury:

The definition of arctic luxury

Have you travelled the world in search of exotic experiences? Perhaps it’s time to give Lapland a chance to surprise you. Levi Spirit has all the elements that make special holidays and memorable times together. This unique resort is a combination of comfort and Arctic wilderness, which is not found anywhere else.

And yes- that´s exactly what they offer; Nordic/Finnish  -style wooden villas in Lapland. The architecture and design is simple and beautiful. Customers are connected to nature and wilderness.


Levi Spirit Luxury Villas in Lapland

The environment is excotic and the special activities can be arranged.  And then comes the main point; I think that the secret of the success lies in hospitality.

The whole customer service process is managed by one person who gets to know the customers already before their arrival – in personal way. She fullfills the customers´ wishes and needs from catering to every day cleaning, from clothing purchases to private driver and chef –  what ever is needed.


Levi Spirit – Designed in Finnish way

It´s not easy to offer luxurious service for very special customers in Levi; it is located in a small municipality of about 6400 inhabitants all together spread in very vast area. There are not, for example, so many ”five star chefs” to call at short notice.

Luxury in Levi Spirit´s  case seems to be based on local values, arctric location, nature  and the best possible service. The heart of the place is Heini, local woman who really knows how to make you feel comfortable. Her attitude and way of being is a very good example of local hospitality – she is very professional and at the same time so authentic! She tells you the story and she lets you to be part of the beautiful,  artctic story.

Thank you Heini and Pekka!
I did enjoy the spirit of Levi and the story of Lapland.


7 kommenttia artikkeliin ”Yes – we have Luxury Tourism in Finland (Eng)

  1. Very interesting post, thank you, Anu. I guess I never thought of luxury as a subjective concept. For me, luxury was always out of reach and my idea of, for example, a fulfilling vacation would be just that: a personal opinion. I liked the article very much. If I may introduce more concepts, I think we could also consider a transversal examination on the issue. For example, how tourist who can handle average consumption become ”rich” in developing countries. I’m thinking how I could, on a vacation in Egypt or Morocco, hire a taxi for the whole day while in Helsinki I could never afford something like that or how I could easily get a five star hotel in Thailand for less than 40 €.


  2. Thank you for your comment, Paco!
    I really appreciate you comment and love your reflection about the text giving us also new perspectives!
    Looking forward to continue next week during our meeting with the theme of Responsible Tourism!


  3. Thank you Anu for sharing this interesting post and your thoughts! I’ve been thinking ’bout the luxury issues also quite a lot recently. What really is luxury? Is is possible to define on behalf of somebody else or is it always just a personal experience? So, could we sell luxury or only possibilities to get close to it?

    For me luxury is a combination of the environment and the emotions…a never forget moment. Something I can not buy, something unexpected or spice in addition to the planned. For example the northern lights during a ski tour, seeing a lynx…so for me it has something to do with the nature and the phenomena I can not expect. I have traveled quite a lot in the US seeing many cities and places from east to west BUT the luxury part has been the tent sauna on the Lake Michigan beach with two Finnish friends. I may forgot Vegas or NY but never the sauna on the beach!

    Example as a guide: I was working for Green Window in Nuuksio and we had about 100 people from India as customers on May 2016. When they left Delhi it was +45 C there…yes. like sauna. I was a canoe guide for them, temperature was +2 and it started snowing…really lot. We got sad and mad ’cause the weather turned terrible. But you know, Snow was the Luxury! They had never seen or felt snow before, I never forget the smiling faces and the laughter and the people being so thankful because we were able to arrange snow for them! Luxury-no extra cost-unexpected-perfect!


  4. Not something I have really thought about before but I fully agree about the different definitions of luxury. It all about how it makes you feel, so it really is a subjective and highly personal experience.

    Give me a cabin in the woods over an all-inclusive resort any day! 😉



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