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.

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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

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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: anu.nylund@moodoffinland.fi 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.

 

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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 Desing.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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