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.

 

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