In Finland we have this thing called Matkailudiili (Tourism deal)

We are living a beautiful story of success

Tourism industry is growing faster than ever in Finland and we are sharing very positive atmosphere among the professionals. Tourism is industry full of opportunities!

There are also challenges to solve. One of the biggest problems for employers in Finland is to find motivated and skilled professionals. Employers and employees have challenges to meet each other in hospitality business, especially in restaurants,  but during the high season there is lack of employees in very many different tasks in several parts in Finland.

To solve this problem as well as making Tourism better known as an attractive industry to work, The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland has launched the project called Matkailudiili – Tourism deal.

Tourism industry is the most international industry

I have had great opportunities to meet people all over the world because of my profession. I am professional in Tourism industry since more than 25 years and have lived more than ten years abroad, mostly in Spain. I love my work!

In Finland I have met plenty of foreigners while teaching tourism and working as Tour Guide in Helsinki. I have heard many stories, not only about the personal experiences, but also about the working life in Finland.

Many stories have been encouraging but there have also been stories about the dificulties to integrate to our society  – and not  all have been treated in fair way.

Tell us your challenges and we try to find the way to help

I have heard experiences from employer´s point of view and I also have asked the hospitality and tourism students and collegues to tell me their stories  – not only now but during several years. On the basis of what I have heard, I would conclude we do have some problems to solve.

The first problem for foreigners seems to be the difficulty to get networks and opportunities to get proper work when not speaking fluent Finnish. The necessary paperwork is also a big challenge if you don´t have any Finnish speaking person helping you.


The second problem seems to be the very hectic and stressful atmosphere at work (restaurants). New employees don´t dare to ask for help – especially if they have done it before and got unpleasant response. Some are afraid of loosing future working opportunies if they are asking too much. Dialogue is needed.

The third challenge to point out here is the ever-changing working teams in hospitality business. Employees don´t know each other,  neither do the managers know employees. When you don´t have a real contact with whom you are working with, you don´t care so much about one´s feelings and you don´t really know one´s  skills and background.


Mood of Finland supplies solutions by piloting new services

Mood of Finland has been selected as one of the companies piloting services to solve the problems mentioned above as well as promoting Tourism as an industry full of opportunities.

Our pilot is based on the fact of understanding that Tourism is the perfect industry to match the skilled professionals with international background, living in Finland or willing to move to Finland, to the companies offering hospitality services.

As we use Service Design and Co-creation methods when developing and producing the services, we invite both parties (employers and employees) to share the experiences and needs to our workshops.  The kick-off took place in Helsinki the 19th of June and the following workshops will take place in Northern, Western and Eastern parts of Finland next August and September


The concrete Service will be Orientation Program offered on internet, based on the results we have gathered from workshops and carried out by using videos, pictures, comics and music, based on innovative pedagogical manuscript. We aim to help everybody to have the opportunity to have significant work in Finland. As well we want to help the companies to find skilled staff in easier way and offer proper orientation program for all.

Do we need to know where one comes from?

As a short summary from our first workshop I would point out just few remarks. There are more to come later this summer and next Autumn as the Project will last till October 2018.

One of the questions among our participants  was  the one to decide which word should be used when talking about  the foreigners living in Finland? We also discussed a lot whether we actually need to know where one comes from? Or could we just introduce ourselves as persons, all equal – you and me – here and now.

We would appreciate your comments and if you are interested in joining our upcoming workshops, please, contact us: or leave a comment below.

We also kindly ask you to follow this Project in Social Media by  #matkailudiili #mood_of_finland

Thank you!

Matkailudiili – team of Mood of Finland:
Anu Nylund, Heidi Jakkula, Markus Åberg (Skou Design) and Eric Pyne.


Jos haluat tietoa suomeksi, voit katsoa tämän videon:

Jos taas haluat katsoa palvelukokeiluideamme kansainvälisille työntekijöille, löydät sen tästä:

Let´s talk about Customer Experience in Helsinki and in Lapland

Javier arrived from Lapland – and not for the first time

Javier Pedrosa is Geographer, Researcher and Tourism professional. He has been travelling all over the world and he has been travelling dozens of times with groups in Finland and in other Nordic countries.

It was Javier who told me years ago that the connection we have to nature and the way we respect the old customs makes Finland different from the other Nordic countries. He admires our way of protecting the nature and the way how nature has always inspired Finnish artists and architectures. He also likes a lot the Finnish way of keeping silent and the Finnish way of being. But sometimes he has something more to say – if I ask him, and now I did.

Current topics of Finnish Tourism Industry

We met in Helsinki and started to talk about the very current topics of Finnish Tourism Industry as we both work in same business. Tourism is growing more than ever in Finland and we are facing new challenges among the professionals. Finnish researches are talking about Touristic Story and about Authentic Story. We are some also concerned about responsibility and overtourism.

I got inspired of the news I have been following lately and decided to take some pictures to tell  a short Touristic Story of Helsinki. Please have a look of it here:

Let´s talk about Customer service and Customer experience

Javier comes from Spain, which is the third (o second,depending on the year) biggest Tourist destination in the world. Spaniards know a lot about Tourism as industry, as a serious business and how to make customers happy.

When we met, Javier had arrived from Lapland a day before and had finished the city tour in Helsinki with his clients, with a local guide, of course. It was a good moment to talk about his experiences. I would say that our conclusion was that all kind of stories can be responsible by making the right decisions.

You can join our conversation by this video. After seeing it I will list some very practical tips Javier gave me:

A short list to consider

As I told Javier admires many things in Finland, among the most important is the good education in Nature conservation and he always remembers to mention Martti Ahtisaari and Finnish skills in peace negotiation. He is also grateful to travel with clients in safe country and he gives good feedback about road conditions.

He is not totally happy of the activities offered in Lapland. He would like to have more choices  and more simple activities as we tell on video. He would prefer something else than disposable dish when taking clients to have a soup, some snack or hot drink in Lappish ”kota”.

He also says that the attitude could be better when facing clients from different cultures. Too often the activities happen in a hurry which causes tense and no flexible treatment is considered – and the joy of working with clients would be great to be noticed.

Javier says he noticed this year that there are more non professionals working in several positions. More foreigners are working as well, but Javier says it is no problem always when Finnish or Lappish people take care of the authentic activities where the story is important part of the experience.

Javier was also little bit worried about the capasity of Rovaniemi airport; he says he has been witnessing moments where the tourists have lost their nervs because of too crowded terminal and sometimes there have not been enough place to park the buses.

The feeling of space and tranquility versus Overtourism

As Finland gives the promise to be a silent and spacious destination, it is also, according to Javier, strange to have the feeling of too many people walking in the street and this happens now in Rovaniemi and in Saariselkä. Those who are in Finland for the first time probably don´t have that feeling, but it certainly requires accostum also among the local people durign the high season.

Maybe at the end the most responsible choice is to construct tourist centers for masses – constructed and managed by the locals.

There are good examples in Spain of big Tourist destinations. I used live several years in Benidorm in Costa Blanca and my friends told me already 20 years ago that they prefer to have Tourists living their story of Spain in Benidorm meanwhile the locals live the real story of everyday life of Spain in their own villages and suburbans. I have lived the same reality and totally understand the point.

Benidorm poniente todo

Now we talk about Overtourism. I like Harold Goodwin´s definition of Overtourism and have nothing to add: destinations where hosts or guests, locals or visitors, feel that there are too many visitors and that the quality of life in the area or the quality of the experience has deteriorated unacceptably. It is the opposite of Responsible Tourism which is about using tourism to make better places to live in and better places to visit. Often both visitors and guests experience the deterioration concurrently

Finland has a very good reputation in Education  and  it should be redeemed as a quality in Tourism Industry and in customer service. Shall we all work together to make Finland a good example of excellent service and responsibility? I´m in, are you?

Thank you for following my blog, please feel free to comment below!
I am grateful to cooperate, please visit the website for more information:
Mood of Finland

Javier – muchas gracias por tu tiempo y dedicación! Un abrazo fuerte!

p.s. Harold Goodwin will be attending the Conference for Responsible Tourism in Jyväskylä the 21-23.3.2018. Please read more about: ICRT

Will climate change kill Santa Claus? (Eng)

Climate Change is threatening Tourism business in Lapland!

Local people are worried in northern part of Finland because of the phenomenon we actually all consider sad and worring; lack of snow and shorter winter season. And as we all know they seem to be related to the climate change.

When reading posts and articles about this problem I sometimes get a bit irritated and I admit I  make the same mistakes by myself; we talk about the problem, we ask others to observe our environment and we ask what kind of future are we leaving to our children.

It´s actually about doing something, not just talking

So – I would now like to ask everybody, including myself to do somethnig, and not just talking and observing. There is much to do and we can start with small things in our everyday life; save energy and water, buy local food and products, don´t use disposable and individually packed products, change your electricity supplier to the one offering alternative energy source.

Learn to make choices which cause less air pollution and greenhouse gas and be a good example for your children. In Tourism industry we should develop more alternative services for our visitors and let them feel welcome to enjoy the special spirit of Lapland and Finland even without snow.

I enjoy the cross-country skiing in Finland when having snow – even in southern part of Finland

It´s about trying to make right decisons

Now the solution seem to be to make tourists happy in any cost; dozens if not hundreds of cannons all over Lapland are ”making” snow and snow has been stored from earlier year for the use of this year.

That´s not ecologically very sustainable way of developing tourism, isn´t it? But it´s understandable. Those who are working in tourism business are living very stressful weeks just before Christmas; the climate has been very varying during the last years; after snowing there can be rains to come and snow desappears again.

Tourists are sending messages and writing in social media wondering if it is really worth of travelling to Finland if snow is not guaranteed.

Climate change is true – and has been taken seriously woldwide?

The whole world is preparing to a big event in 2015; the climate agreement will be signed by 192 countries in Paris. United Nations has put it´s goal to stop global warming to two degrees Celcius. But according to the resent studies the climate is expected to warm up to five degrees Celcius by the end of this century.

The international climate agreement is going to be signed by 192 countries in Paris 2015.

The climate agreement is expected to inlude  a promise signed by European countries, that greenhouse gas emmisions are going to be reduced to half by 2030 and there is a promise to have carbon neutral society ( at least some of the coutries…)  by 2050. And much is expected of the United States and China.

It´s my problem, it´s your problem, it´s tourist´s problem it´s global problem!

I know many Finns who would be happy to have mild winters and less snow. But it´s not so simple; climate change is a global problem and it´s causing different problems in different parts of the world.

Melting of glaciers, for example, cause changes in sea level and temperature which can cause changes in ocean currents – and the changes can be noticed far away. What has been approved is that climate change exists and it´s affecting our life. According to the newest IPPC- report the warming is going to be strongiest in north, even eight degrees Celcius above the Arctic Circle.

Valparaiso - daños de terremoto.

Valparaiso, Chile 2010. I was in Chile and saw the damages when one of the strongiest earthquakes of the world´s history happened there .

Climate change is a global, common problem, and we can not close our eyes of it. Unfortunately it doesn’t always go quite according to fair play either.  Sea level rise and extreme weather phenomena often cause the most serious problems for those low-income countries, which have not, due to poverty,  ever been major greenhouse gas emitters. 

Will climate change kill Santa Claus

I have read a really nice article written by C.Michael Hall. He is very well known among the academic students and researches in Tourism field  in Finland. He is also often seen lecturer in Lapland and Eastern Finland University. So we can trust he knows quite a lot about Finland and our Tourism Industry.

C.Michael Hall has asked whether the worldwide spreading message of  Santa Claus worring about the climate change would make people to react.  Could Santa Claus  who is now trying in every way to maintain the image created by the snow of winter idyll, to participate in the fight against climate change? He could openly tell that his home and life  in winter idyll is threatened. ( Matkailututkimuksen Seuran julkaisu 2/2014. Hall, C. M. 2014,Climate change and high-latitude Christmas place branding. Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism.)

 Or could Santa Claus be ambassador of goodwill?

I find it great idea – of course!!! Santa claus could be the ambassador of goodwill and help Finnish Lapland and whole Finland towards even more responsible way of developing  the Tourism industry. 

Santa Claus good tell the unpleasant truth and bring out other kind of wonderland even without snow. There are plenty of stories to tell; even the stories about the elves, and not only those helping Santa but also those known in epic stories. He would be the one to represent Finland and climate change globally!


I have a dream; I would like to see Finland as the first carbon neutral tourist destination in the world! It would really get us advantage and possibility to differ from the neighbor countries. At least we have worldwide  valued  knowledge in Cleantech- industry and plenty of forests to help in that target!