Put the helmet on – safemodern subculture is here

Young man having a coffee break in the woods

What comes after transmodern culture

I had a very good conversation with my son, grown up now, about cultural evolution and regenerative tourism. I told him I am eager to understand what are the values that guide human behavior and choices after or in addition to transmodern values. I also told that I see a logical connection between cultural evolution and regenerative thinking.

I explained what I mean by cultural evolution to my son by using the symbolic hats I use when talking about my thoughts to any audience; the traditional wearing a cap, the modern wearing an academic graduation cap, postmodern with a fancy wig and the transmodern wearing a green wilderness hat. As a bonus I have added a sub-profile of transmodern which I call an ”ultra-ecologist” with green glasses on. She/he makes choices based only on ecological values and e.g. refuses to fly.

Regeneration is a process of understanding

I also told my son that I have been a little stuck with the production of regenerative tourism education content. I want to learn and understand more and at the same time I feel like it´s not about offering a course or two, but it´s about inviting the interested ones to regenerate together, to change the mindset and to understand all what surrounds us in an holistic way.

It´s about unselfish love to nature and willingness to produce well-being for oneself, for others and for nature. I keep on saying that regeneration is a process and it takes time. It requires a deep understanding of how nature operates, heals, flourish and regenerate itself. Regeneration invites and forces us to slow down, to observe and to understand our role as part of the universe and the nature.

I am preparing material (in Finnish) and I will invite you soon to experience this process together, if you wish.

Safemodern – subculture of transmodern

My son went through idea of cultural evolution, the profiles and the values behind them. He also understood very easily that many of us are actually a mixture of several profiles based on values. Then he said in very firm and inspired way:

The fifth profile wears a helmet, maybe a mask, also. It could be called safemodern!

And he continued: The values behind the behavior rises from the need for a sense of security at all levels. We are (and we have been) forced to go back from the transmodern appreciation of communality to more individual thinking as we try to ensure the safety of ourselves and of our loved ones. We no longer act so globally because we feel security in the neighborhood is more important. This does not rule out the possibility that we are aware and interested in global situations.

Then he hurried to meet his friends, leaving his mother (me) in a state of excitement.

Safemodern cares about nature and is realistically optimistic

As in cultural evolution before, I hope the transformation will include the good we have embraced. I hope the safemodern persons emphasize the holistic nature of human, health care, science and life phenomena. Indeed, I hope that safemodern wants to be involved in regeneration.

It makes sense that safemodern will characterize by ecological thinking and planetary consciousness and understands that caring for nature is essential to avoid security-threatening eco-disasters, uncontrolled refugee flows and epidemics. Caring for nature is essential for food security. Safemodern, as well as transmodern persons are ready to pay to clean up the environment, stop pollution and stop the greenhouse effect.

Safemodern, bearing in mind the transmodern values, are in favor of optimism, but as a representative of its time and experience, safemodern may be less optimistic than its transmodern predecessor about peaceful solutions while talking about geopolitical crises and physical security and is more sympathetic to defense alliances and the financing of armed defense.

From cyber security to health security

In a digitalized world, cyber security is, of course, part of the basics of safemodern persons´ everyday life. Digital applications will be used more and more to help safemodern persons´ life in many ways. At the same time, misinformation and over-reliance on technology worries.

Health security is crucial. At all levels, the importance of foresight is emphasized and therefore the importance of science and management by knowledge is also maintained.

*)Health security defined by WHO: Global public health security is defined as the activities required, both proactive and reactive, to minimize the danger and impact of acute public health events that endanger people’s health across geographical regions and international boundaries.

From emotional security to closing words

I could go on for much longer, but I will end this post here: The ability to respond to weak signals and changes are key to a successful safemodern business. I believe that alongside digitalization, safemodern people also value emotional security, genuine encounters and deep feelings.

As an enabler of emotional security, tourism has a role to play by connecting people globally and encouraging people to accept diversity regardless of the religion neither the sexual or political orientation.

Thank you Daniel for the inspiring conversation!

Thank you, dear reader, for following my blog!

Please, note: Safemodern might be a subculture of transmodern culture and maybe we will call it as ”newmodern”, ”neomodern” or ”remodern”. This text is based on the conversation with my son, added by some thoughts of mine. I am interested in understanding human behavior through a change in values and became familiar with the subject for the first time when I completed my master’s degree in 2014 at the University of Lapland. There is no accepted academic background behind this theory and text, yet 🙂

With love,

Anu

Regenerative thinking goes beyond sustainability

While destinations try to implement their best practices for sustainable tourism, forerunners already focus on regeneration. Is regenerative tourism just another trendy term amongst others, or what does it mean in practice – and why is it important?

This article has originally published in Finnish (suomeksi) by Saana Jaakkola, Valpas Media, in comercial cooperation with Mood of Finland company (owned by Anu Nylund). Saana Jaakkola has translated the article in English.

In December 2021, a small but enthusiastic group of Finnish travel professionals interested in the transformation of the tourism industry joined an online event organised by Anu Nylund. Through her company, Mood of Finland, Nylund offers educational and tourism services focusing on responsible and sustainable tourism.

Not all participants were from Finland. The keynote came from Chile; Carlos Briceño and Martín Araneda from Turismo Regenerativo inspired the participants with real-life examples of a new, refreshing type of tourism. Regenerative tourism.

The Global Regenerative Tourism Initiative gathers together tourism professionals, entrepreneurs, influencers and the locals living with the impacts of tourism from all over the world. The collaborative platform aims to urge a global mindset change from sustainable and responsible towards a regenerative way of thinking and action.

When talking about regenerative tourism, this is where we need to begin: from a complete change of mindset.

What is the purpose of tourism?

Carlos Briceño and Martín Araneda led the participants for a virtual adventure to the Southern tip of South America, in the middle of Patagonia’s breath-taking and pristine landscapes. Far away from people, far away from everything.

Picture: Pixabay free

Then, they dropped a question: what is the purpose of tourism? Why would tourists need to be taken to this remote, untouched destination?

– Tourism has to serve another kind of purpose than just entertaining tourists, Carlos Briceño said.

Until now, tourism developers worldwide have thought about what a destination could give to tourism and tourists. Regenerative tourism turns the question around and asks what could tourism and tourists give to the destination. How could tourism increase the well-being of the local environment and people?

– We have to think about how we could take travellers to these pristine locations in a way that benefits the destination. How could we help tourists create a deep and meaningful connection with the place, not only with its beauty but also the problems and threats that put it in danger? Briceño specified.

The principles of sustainable and responsible tourism have instructed us to minimise the negative impacts of travel. Regenerative mindset teaches us that reducing the downsides isn’t enough. It teaches us to build back better.

By its simplest definition, regenerative tourism ensures that tourism positively impacts the destination. Tourism should bring improvements instead of just minimising the negatives, leaving the place in a better condition than before.

In reality, regenerative tourism goes further than this.

Raising awareness of regenerative tourism in Finland

Finland aims to be the world’s leading destination of sustainable tourism. Yet, there hasn’t been much discussion over regenerative tourism in Finland.

Anu Nylund believes the situation is about to change.

Nylund has started her journey along the path of regenerative tourism by following and learning from the world’s best-known experts and influencers. One of them is Anna Pollock, the founder of Conscious Travel and one of the most famous specialists and advocates in regenerative tourism.

Anu Nylund has put regenerative thinking into practice with Love Forest Finland. Her concept encourages people to plant trees and supports the protection of old-growth forests and marshland restoration through the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation. ”By planting a tree in the soil, people rediscover their long-lost connection with nature”, Nylund has noticed.

Nylund has studied regenerative tourism on an extensive online course hosted by Turismo Regenerativo. Currently, she’s preparing a series of webinars and workshops in collaboration with Finnish and international experts – including Anna Pollock, Carlos Briceño and Martín Araneda – to raise awareness of regenerative tourism in Finland.

It’s not going to be an easy task.

– We need a complete change in the way we think about tourism. We have to let go of old habits and stay open and receptive to new ideas and information. Regenerative tourism isn’t about individual actions; the transition requires plenty of committed people and significant structural changes, Nylund emphasises.

Not everyone will be able to do so, Nylund believes.

– Some people aren’t willing to change, and that’s our greatest challenge.

New metrics for measuring success

For decades, visitor numbers and tourism income have been the leading indicators of success. The common goal has been to increase both, no matter the true costs.

Less attention has been paid to the negative impacts that tourism causes to destinations, their environment and natural resources. The development of tourism facilities, services, and infrastructure has taken its toll on natural areas. Often tourists also consume utilities, such as water and electricity, vastly more than the locals.

These success rates have been followed more intensively during the pandemic than ever before. Meanwhile, the climate and biodiversity crises stay forgotten in the background, even though tourism plays a two-faced role in them; tourism worsens the environmental issues that will massively influence the future of the whole industry.

Regenerative mindset requires defining new and more humane metrics for measuring success.

Carlos Briceño shared a real-life example from Costa Rica, where success is measured by the number of hummingbirds returning to the area after winter instead of the annual increase of visitor numbers.

Experts aren’t exaggerating when they talk about the significant changes required. Anna Pollock, one of the world’s leading specialists on regenerative tourism, often quotes Albert Einstein:

”The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking. No problem can be solved with the same consciousness that created it.”

We can’t solve problems by acting and thinking the same way we did when we created the issues we face today. And that’s why a complete change of mindset is required; we have to acknowledge that people are part of nature, part of planet Earth, where everything – and everyone – is connected.

Nature persistently regenerates itself to ensure it can keep flourishing. Us, people, would need to do the same.

From continuous growth to continuous flourishing

The most well-known example of regenerative thinking comes from farming. Regenerative cultivation heals the soil and produces climate benefits by increasing biodiversity and improving the soil’s capacity to preserve and sequester carbon. Healthy soil provides a more abundant harvest, much to the producer’s advantage.

Regenerative cultivation helps the soil flourish. How could we transfer this mindset into tourism?

Anu Nylund talks about the sense of place. It means including the local community in tourism development starting from step one.

– When discussing regenerative tourism, the key is to ask the locals how they see their home and how they would like it to be preserved for generations to come. What are the main aspects they want to share with tourists? What are they most proud of, why do they want to live there and, most importantly, what kind of visitors do they wish to invite there?

Nylund emphasises that regenerative thinking requires innovative efforts for restoring the environment and preventing disadvantages instead of quietly watching the slow devastation of the destination.

Prevention isn’t only better for the environment and local communities; it’s also economically more viable policy than finding ways to rehabilitate a ruined destination.

– In practice, it could mean restoring an abandoned village school for tourism activities instead of new buildings, Nylund specifies.

There are notable examples of regenerative tourism from Belgium to Patagonia and New Zealand but also in Finland. Anu Nylund benchmarks Lapland Shephard Holidays, a new concept for rural tourism designed in terms of local well-being.

Instead of continuous growth, regenerative tourism pursues continuous vitality and flourishment. Therefore we need to consider how tourism could make destinations and their communities flourish.

But how could we change our mindsets towards regenerative thinking in a world where responsibility and sustainability remain distant goals?

International traveller – the change agent of the future

Our virtual trip to Patagonia started to provoke thoughts and conversations among the participants. Some of them shared memories of destinations that lost their sense of place in only two years when a small, idyllic village surrounded by subtropical forests transformed into a hotel-filled tourist destination chasing ever-growing visitor numbers. Gone were the forests, together with the village.

Some participants questioned Finland’s outspoken goal to become the world’s leading example of sustainable tourism. How could we possibly change our mindsets towards regenerative tourism when more Charter planes carry one-day visitors from the UK to Lapland and back than ever before?

– Travel companies can earn their income with fewer visitors, but it has to come from the strategy. We need significant changes and decisions about future ways of doing business to preserve our nature. This transition needs to be supported financially, states Nylund.

She believes that travellers play an essential role in the changing environment. Nylund refers to travellers as change agents of the future, the empowering force requiring actual benefits for the destinations. Every avid traveller can – and a growing number of travellers will – think of ways to leave their travel destination in a better shape than before.

This force could affect tourism for example in Lapland.

– What if it was the travellers who say they don’t want to travel to Lapland to help it stay authentic? If travellers were to make that choice, the decisions would need to follow.

Nylund challenges local communities worldwide to consider how they would get by if the visitor numbers would crash permanently. What would be the new, regenerative services to help the destination flourish and locals earn a living with fewer visitors?

– We’re most likely heading towards time and age where travellers say they rather pay for destinations not to welcome tourists. They’ll prefer virtual trips, where local professionals guide them through their travel destination, and it will be enough as they know it’s the only way to rescue it.

Nylund refers to a well-known phrase that states: Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.

Regenerative tourism goes further than this. It aims to nurture the environment to ensure enough fish for future generations.

– This applies to Finland, too. At the moment, we’re on the road of overfishing, reaching the limits of the destination capacity. We have to change our mindsets, or we’ll be heading for the worse.

Einstein already knew it. As Anna Pollock often refers, no problem can be solved with the same consciousness that created it.

Ajatuksia onnellisuudesta ja yrittäjyydestä

Jaettu ilo on kaksinkertainen ilo

Vuoden vaihtuessa 2020-21 olin mukana kauniissa ja onnellisessa kohtaamisessa. Vieras oli tullut Pariisista, ranskalainen toimittaja, joka halusi ymmärtää mitä suomalainen onnellisuus oikein on. Minua pyydettiin viemään hänet metsäkävelylle ja kertomaan ajatuksiani luonnosta kumpuavasta onnellisuudesta. Voit lukea lisää vierailusta täältä: Nature based happiness

You can read this article in English here: Some thoughts about happiness and entrepreneurship

Sää ei ollut kovin kaunis, mutta itse asiassa muistamme usein paremmin tapahtumat, jotka eivät ole liian täydellisiä, vaan hetkeen liittyy myös haasteita, kuten tässä tapauksessa räntäsade. Täydellisyys on harvoin ikimuistoinen kokemus!

Haluamme yleensä myös jakaa onnellisimmat hetket muiden kanssa, ja niin oli tässäkin tapauksessa. Kutsuin kollegoita tekemään tästä tilaisuudesta erityisen meille kaikille. Tuo päivä ei olisi ollut läheskään yhtä kaunis ja tärkeä minulle, jos en olisi jakanut sitä muiden kanssa. Jaettu ilo on kaksinkertainen ilo. Kiitos Jonna (Metsänautti), Risto (Adventuristo) ja Ullis (Ullis Travel Studio)!

Mikä tekee sinut onnelliseksi – oletko samaa mieltä PERMA -testin kanssa?

Yalen yliopisto on käynnistänyt erittäin suositun, ympäri maailmaa tunnetun verkkokurssin nimeltä PERMA -testi. Se lupaa kertoa meille, mikä on onnen salaisuus. Testin nimi tulee sanoista Positive emotions (positiiviset tunteet), Engagement (sitoutuminen), Relationships (ihmissuhteet), Meaning (merkitys) ja Achievement (saavutus).

On helppo olla samaa mieltä testin kanssa siitä, että kiitollisuus ja se, että emme vertaa itseämme muihin, ovat onnellisuuden perustekijöitä. Olen toteuttanut näitä käytännössä pitämällä kiitollisuuspäiväkirjaa ja muuttamalla sisäistä puhetta itselleni armollisemmaksi jo muutaman vuoden ajan ja totta on, että tunnen itseni onnellisemmaksi.

Ystävällisyys mainittiin tärkeänä onnellisia ihmisiä yhdistävänä indikaattorina. Ystävällisyys ja toisten auttaminen epäitsekkäällä tavalla saa meidät tuntemaan olomme onnelliseksi. Uskon, että kiitollisuus ja ystävällisyys yhdistettyinä empatiaan liittyvät myös tasa-arvoon ja syrjimättömyyteen. Olen kirjoittanut tästä enemmän toisessa artikkelissa: Thoughts from the happiest country in the world…

Keskittymiskyky liittyy sitoutumiseen ja saavutuksiin. Kuten onnesta kertovassa linkin artikkelissa todetaan, voimme parantaa omaa keskittymiskykyämme meditoimalla. Hyvä uutinen monille on se, että rauhoittuakseen ei tarvitse tehdä mitään virallista meditaatioharjoitusta monimutkaisten sääntöjen mukaan, vaan tarvittaessa vain tuijottaa ulos ikkunasta tai keskittyä hengitykseen.  (HS 25.12.2020 Hyvän mielen…)

Tekeekö vapaus sinusta onnellisen?

Kun suomalaisen filosofin, Timo Airaksisen pyydettiin määrittämään onnellisuus, vastasi hän seuraavasti:

” Jos katsoo ihmisiä, niin nehän tavoittelevat kaikkea muuta kuin onnellisuutta: menestystä ja parempaa työpaikkaa, kalliimpaa autoa ja asuntoa. Onni on niin abstrakti käsite, että minä korvaisin sen tyytyväisyydellä. YLE (03/2021)

Filosofi pitää sellaisia arvoja kuin hyvyys, totuus ja kauneus varsin hienoina onnellisuuden määrittelyssä, mutta tarpeettoman juhlallisina. Airaksisen mukaan vapaus on ihmisen tärkein arvo. Hän kertoi, että hänen tiedostamaton päämääränsä koko elämänsä ajan on ollut vapaus ja viittaa vapaaseen kulkemiseen niin ajatuksissa kuin fyysisestikin. Kirjojen kirjoittaminen, matkustaminen – kaikki on ollut pyrkimystä pois normaalista arjesta ja yhteiskunnasta.

Airaksinen antaa ohjeeksi seuraavan: Elämän tarkoitus on tulla sellaiseksi kuin on, eli toteuttaa itseään. Tulla ulkoisesti samanlaiseksi kuin on sisäisesti.

Onni ei siis löydy ainakaan siitä, että yritämme olla sellaisia kuin luulemme muiden meidän olettavan olevan. Olisiko tässä meille hyvä lupaus ja tavoite, ei vain ensi vuodeksi, vaan koko loppuelämän tavoitteeksi.

Paremman tulevaisuuden rakentaminen tekee onnelliseksi

Vapaus tekee minutkin onnelliseksi, eikä vain yksityiselämässäni, vaan myös töissä. Oman yrityksen perustaminen antoi minulle vapauden ja mahdollisuuden toimia omien arvojeni mukaan. Olen kiitollinen vapaudesta, mutta en pidä sitä itsestäänselvyytenä, koska kaikilla ei tässä maailmassa todellakaan ole vapautta tehdä valintoja. Kirjoitin näistäkin ajatuksista tässä artikkelissa: Thoughts from the happiest country in the world…

Tiedän ja ymmärrän oikein hyvin, etten yksin voi pelastaa maailmaa epäoikeudenmukaisuudelta tai ympäristöongelmilta, mutta voin tehdä oman osani ja vaikuttaa muiden kanssa. Parasta, mitä minulle tapahtui vuonna 2021, oli löytää samanhenkisiä ihmisiä, jotka opettivat minulle paljon uutta.

Osallistuin kolmelle espanjankieliselle Uudistavan matkailun -kurssille. Sain uutta inspiraatiota ja olen ollut lähes hämmentynyt siitä, miten elämä todella johdattaa juuri oikeiden ihmisten luo, juuri oikealla hetkellä. Elämä tuntuu olevan palapeli, jonka puuttuvat palat löytyvät, vaikka ei edes tiedä mitä oikeastaan etsii.

Erityisterveiseni menevät tänä vuonna Carlos Briseñolle ja Martín Aranedalle (Turismo Regenerativo), Amanda Selivonille (Ekoways), Anna Pollockille, Anna Drozdowskalle, Anna Rinteiselle ja Nani Angulolle uuden oppimisesta, aidosta tuesta ja välittämisestä, positiivisesta dialogista. Odotan innolla, että pääsemme jatkamaan reilua ja kaunista yhteistyötä ensi vuonna.

Oman näköinen ja oloinen yrittäjyys

Mood of Finland täyttää neljä vuotta 1.1.2022 ja nyt voin paljastaa yhden salaisuuden. Kun perustin yritystä ja tein liiketoimintasuunnitelmaa starttirahahakemusta varten, turhauduin valmiisiin lomakkeisiin ja Exceleihin, vaikka johdatin myös opiskelijoita tekemään samoja suunnitelmia osana opintojaan.

Olin lukenut kirjoja ja tutkimuksia transmodernista yrittäjyydestä gradua tehdessäni vuosia aikaisemmin ja halusin perustaa yritykseni nille arvoille. Jaoin ajatuksiani espanjalaisten ystävieni kanssa ja he tukivat minua, mutta en löytänyt Suomesta samanhenkisiä yrittäjiä. Suunnitelmiani oli vaikea kirjata exceleihin.

Sitten jotenkin sattumalta ja onnekseni päädyin Sampsa Fabritiuksen kokoamaan Transformative Entrepreneurship (Transformatiivinen yrittäjyys) tapaamiseen Helsinkiin. Se oli mahdollisuus ja tilaisuus, joka vahvisti uskoani toisenlaiseen yrittäjyyteen. Tapaamisen aikana meitä pyydettiin kirjaamaan liikeideamme Ikigaita hyödyntäen. Se antoi sillä hetkellä vahvistusta omaan tekemiseen.

Transformatiivinen oppiminen oli minulle jo tuttua. Sen perusajatus on päästää irti vanhoista ja totutuista ajatuksista ja tavoista toimia, ottaa vastaan avoimesti uutta ja ainakin testata sitä omaan tekemiseen.

Transmoderni yrittäjyys ja uudet työkalut

Pari viikkoa sitten RegenLab-yrityksen jäjrestämällä Uudistavan matkailun kurssilla minua pyydettiin kirjoittamaan liikesuunnitelmani uudestaan neljä vuotta aikaisemmin tutuksi tulleella työkalulla. Ikigai on yksinkertainen menetelmä, joka johdattaa huomioimaan tärkeimmät elämän perusarvot. Se houkuttelee ajattelemaan suuria asioita ja kirjoittamaan ne pieneen tilaan.

Nyt minun on tehtävä toinen tunnustus; Ikigai tuntuu myös yksinään liian suppealta menetelmältä ja olen ottanut vapauden päivittää yrityksen suunnitelmia yhdistämällä käytettävissä olevia menetelmiä ja työkaluja. Opettelen nyt käyttämään toista uutta työkalua nimeltä ”Uudistava Flow Map” ja jaan mielelläni kokemuksiani myös muille.

Eri tavalla toimiminen ei tarkoita taloudellisesti kannattamatonta yrittäjyyttä, koska mitään yritystoimintaa ei voi eikä kannata jatkaa, jollei se ole taloudellisesti kannatavaa ja kestävää.

Useiden menetelmien ja oppien yhdistäminen yrityksen kehittämisessä on vapautta ja uuden oppiminen ja oppimisen käytäntöön vieminen tekee minut onnelliseksi nyt tulevaa vuotta kohti siirryttäessä. Onnellinen olen myös silloin, jos pystyn tarjoamaan asiakkailleni ja yhteistyökumppaneilleni uutta ja kiinnostavaa sisältöä – sellaista, jonka avulla tämä maailma on hyvä paikka elää myös tulevaisuudessa.

Kiitos, että seuraat blogiani!

Rakkaudella, Anu

Lopuksi jaan videon, jonka tein yhtenä kurssityönä Uudistavan matkailun opinnoissa suomeksi, englanniksi ja espanjaksi. Se on pieni tarina siitä, miksi Mood of Finland on juuri sellainen kun se on.

Some thoughts about happiness and entrepreneurship

Shared happiness is double happiness

It was at the end of 2020 when I had a beautiful and happy encounter. We had a visitor from Paris, a French journalist, who wanted to understand the secret of Finnish Happiness. I was asked to take her to a forest walk and tell my thoughts about happiness based on nature. You can read more about this visit here: Nature based happiness

Voit lukea tämän artikkelin suomeksi täältä: Oletko sinä onnellinen, kysyy hymyilevä yrittäjä

The weather was not very nice, but in fact, we often remember better the events when the beautiful is accompanied by a small adversity – like wet sleet in this case. Perfection is rarely a memorable experience. We usually also want to share the happiest moments with others and so was the thing in the case of organizing the event to the French journalist. I invited other colleagues to make this opportunity a special moment. That day wouldn’t have been nearly as beautiful and important to me if I hadn’t shared it with others – shared pleasure is double pleasure. Thank you Jonna (Metsänautti), Risto (Adventuristo) and Ullis ( Ullis Travel Studio)!

What makes you happy – do you agree with the PERMA -test?

Yale University has launched very popular online course known around the world called PERMA -test. It promises to tell us what the secret of happiness is. The name of the test comes from words Positive emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Achievement.

It´s easy to agree that gratitude and the importance of not comparing ourselves to others is some of the basic factors. I have put it into practice by keeping a gratitude diary and making inner speech more merciful to myself for some years now and I feel more happy.

Kindness was mentioned as an important indicator which unites happy people. It´s easy to agree that being kind and helping others in unselfish way make us feel profoundly happy. I think that gratitude and kindness are related also to equality and non-discrimination. I have written an other article with such thoughts here: Thoughts from the happiest country in the world…

Capability to concentrate is related to engagement and achievement. As it was said in the article about happiness, we can improve our own ability to concentrate: all you have to do is meditate. Good news for many of us is that we don’t have to do any formal meditation practice according to complex rules; we can just stare out of the window or focus on our breathing.  (HS 25.12.2020 Hyvän mielen…)

Does freedom make you happy?

A Finnish philosopher, Timo Airaksinen, was asked to define happiness and answered as following (03/2021):

”If you look at people, they are looking for everything but happiness: success and a better job, a more expensive car and housing. Happiness is such an abstract concept that I would replace it with contentment”

The philosopher considers such values as goodness, truth and beauty to be quite fine when defining happiness, but unnecessarily solemn. According to Airaksinen, freedom is the most important human value. He told that his unconscious goal during the whole life was freedom and refers to free movement both in thought and physically.

Writing books, traveling – everything has been an endeavor away from normal everyday life and society for him. He also told that the purpose of life is to become as one is, to realize oneself; to become externally similar to what is internally.

Could this be a good goal and promise for all of us, not only a New Year´s promise but a lifelong goal.

Acting for better future can make us happy

Freedom makes me happy, not only in my private life but also in professional path. Starting my own business allowed me the freedom and opportunity to act according to my own values. I am grateful but I don´t want to take freedom as granted as not everyone in this world has freedom to make choices.

I am well aware that I cannot save the world from injustice or environmental problems alone, but I can do my part and make an impact with others. The best thing that happened to me in 2021 was to find like-minded people who still taught me so much new.

I attended three Regenerative Tourism courses, two of them organized by a Chilean company called Turismo Regenerativo and the third one organized by a Spanish company RegenLab. I’m still on the path to new learning in transformative way.

I got very inspired and almost confused about how life really leads to just the right people, at just the right moment. Life is really like a puzzle whose missing pieces can be found even when you don’t even know what you’re really looking for.

My special thanks this year go to Carlos Briseño, Martín Araneda (Turismo Regenerativo), Amanda Selivon (Ekoways), Anna Pollock, Anna Drozdowska, Anna Rinteinen and Nani Angulo for your genuine support and a desire to work together. Looking forward to continue to do fair and beautiful things together next year. I am honestly grateful and touched.

Freedom to find your own way to act brings happiness

Mood of Finland company has its fourth anniversary the 1st of January 2022. Now I can reveal one secret. When I started a business and made a business plan for a grant application, I got frustrated with the ready-made forms and excels although I also led students to make the same plans as part of their studies.

I have read books and studies about transmodern entrepreneurship and caring economy while finishing my Master thesis some years earlier and wanted to establish my company based on such values. I shared opinions with my Spanish friends and they supported me, but I didn´t find same-liked entrepreneurs in Finland. My plans were difficult to enter into excels.

Transmodern entrepreneurship and new tools

Then I somehow and luckily ended up in a meeting of Transformative Entrepreneurship led by Sampsa Fabritius in Helsinki. I was faced with an opportunity and a situation that strengthened my belief that there was another kind of entrepreneurship. During the meeting we were asked to write down our business idea using the Ikigai tool. It was something I needed at that moment.

Couple of weeks ago, in one of the Regenerative Tourism courses, I was asked to write down my plans again using the same tool. It is a simple method but leads to important basic values of life. It forces you to think about big things and write them down in a small space.

Now I have to make another confession; Ikigai also feels too schematic and instructive on its own and I have taken the liberty of making my own business plans by combining the methods and tools available. I am learning to use another new tool called Regenerative Flow Map and will be happy to share my experiences for others as well. Combining many methods and doctrines is what I call freedom and makes me happy now when facing the upcoming year.

Operating in a different way does not mean economically unprofitable entrepreneurship, because no business can and should continue unless it is financially viable and sustainable.

I wish happiness to all

The turn of the year, as well as the celebration of the summer solstice, have been and still are a time of magic and beliefs also here in the northernmost part of Europe.

With a loud bang, evil spirits have been harassed and happiness has been foretold and assured in various ways. It was also believed that there is only certain amount of happiness and it is only enough for some. Next year’s happiness was divided into pieces and was given at the turn of the new year. Attempts was made to ensure one´s own share of happiness, for example, by visiting as many places as possible on New Year’s Eve and staying high-spirited all day long. Believe whoever wants to – I hope there is unlimited amount of happiness and it will be shared in fair way – all the year round.

I continue the tradition I have experienced and enjoyed when living in Spain. I’ve modified it a bit so that instead of wishing, I express my gratitude. Every year I eat 12 grapes to the beat of the clock at midnight, and I thank in advance for 12 good things in my life happening next year.

Hope you all the best for 2022!

Thank you for following my blog.

With love, Anu

Finally, I will share a video in which I share the background behind Mood of Finland company in English:

Aquí les comparto un video en el que comparto el trasfondo detrás de Mood of Finland, en Español:

Uudistava pysähdys. Case Lapin Paimenlomat.

Tammikuu koronavuonna 2021 verkossa

Tammikuisina hyvin pimeinä perjantai-iltoina istuin kotona Hyvinkäällä, kun tietokoneen ruudun toisella puolella oli joukko pohjoisen Suomen kyläläisiä. Alkuun oli tunne, että oli minä ja he, mutta vaikka kylmää sinistä valoa puskevan näytön läpi oli vaikeaa oikeasti tutustua ihmisiin, tämän joukon kanssa oli jotenkin lämmin yhteys alusta asti. Useammin kuin kerran mietin, että mitähän minulla on heille annettavaa – aito tekemisen ja ajattelun tunnelma kun tuli niin vahvasti läpi. Lampaista, lehmistä ja paimentamisesta ei minulla ollut minkäälaista kokemusta. Tai no, kokemusta, kyllä… jonkinlaista, mutta etäistä ja vähäistä.

Muistan miten Merja oli jo valmiina linjoilla ja hetkeä myöhemmin Jari tuli mukaan töistä kotiuduttuaan. Muistan miten Ville otti välillä yhteyden kännykällä lampolasta ja Jukka Pekka kuvaili kotitilansa ympäristöä ja kertoi siellä järjestettävästä taidenäyttelystä. Muistan miten Elina ja Markku pohtivat, osaavatko laittaa rajoja työn ja vapaa-ajan, vieraiden ja oman elämän välille.

Sain olla mukana suunnittelemassa ja kehittämässä paimenlomakonseptia lappilaisiin kyliin. Metsähallituksen paimenlomat ovat olleet suuri menestystarina eikä arpaonni suosi ikinä kaikkia paimenlomalaisia, hakijoita kun on montakymmentäkertaa enemmän kuin paikkoja tarjolla. Tähän tarpeeseen konseptia siis tullaan tarjoamaan.

Palvelumuotoilu ja yhteiskehittäminen olivat luontaisia keinoja konseptoida palvelua. Puitteet ja osaaminen oli olemassa ja minun roolini oli fasilitoida, nostaa esille vahvuuksia ja pontetiaalia. Rohkaista ja välillä kyseenalaistaa.

Muistan miten vaikuttunut olin niiden paikkojen kuvauksista, joissa osallistujat asuivat. Puhuttiin kuudesta kylästä ja innostuin siitä, että suurin osa kylistä oli tuntemattomia, idyllisen kuuloisia yhteisöjä, joissa kylätalolle kokoonnutaan tansseihin ja talkoisiin, joskus syömään yhdessä, naapuria tervehditään ja kutsutaan kahville. Muistan myös, kun lopuksi projektin vetäjä epäili pienesti mahtaako vieraita tulla ja minä sanoin aidosti innostuneena, että minä ainakin tulen.

Kesä vuosia sitten Lopella

Kävelin linja-autoasemalta kohti lapsuuden kotia. Pari vuotta nuorempi veli ajoi vastaan ja hetken olin ilosta hämmentynyt; oliko juuri ajokortin saanut veli tullut siskoaan vastaan! Veli hidasti, mutta ei osoittanut aikeita pysähtyä. Enkä olisi kyytiin mahtunutkaan – en ainakaan apukuskin paikalle. Se oli varattu vaaleaverikölle, jolla oli hieman pullottavat, punareunaiset silmät ja valtavan pitkät vaaleat ripset. Kiharat koristivat päätä ja suu kävi koko ajan, samaan tapaan kuin purukumia pureskellessa.

Veli morjensti ja häntä nauratti. Niin nauratti minuakin. Tuona kesänä lapsuuden kodin puutarhan kesälampaat saivat erityistä kohtelua; erityisesti tämä yksi kesävieras, jota kyydittiin autolla, joka askelsi veljen perässä keittiöön ja oli mukana saunanlämmityksessä. Lampaiden kanssa keskustelu oli kesähuvitusten aatelia. Näistäkin kesäkokemuksista oli sittemmin siis hyötyä; edes jonkinlaista kosketusta lampaisiin oli sentään ollut, kun paimenlomakonseptia alettiin kehittää.

Kesäkuu 2021 Hyvinkää

Tammikuun lopetuspalaverissa olimme keskustelleet markkinointimateriaalista, myyntikanavista ja visuaalisesta ilmeestä. Jäin pois hyvillä mielin, kun oma osuuteni oli viety maaliin ja luotin siihen, että osaavat tekijät hoitavat homman kunnialla loppuun. Toivoin karttaa ja kivoja tarinoita – ja niitä minä sain, kun kesällä lähdin kartoittamaan lupaamani vierailun paikkaa ja ajankohtaa. Lapin Paimenlomista oli tehty visuaalisesti ja sisällöllisesti hienot materiaalit!

Olin luvannut mennä ja siitä lupauksesta pidin kiinni, vaikka vielä pari viikkoa ennan sovittua ajankohtaa en ollut saanut yhtäkään reissukaveria vahvistamaan lähtöään. Olen reissanut paljon yksin, mutta nyt vastuu eläinten hoidosta hieman painoi enkä luottanut omaan tekemiseeni yksin.

Aluksi halukkaita lähtijöitä oli kyllä ollut, sitten joukko hupeni, ja lopussa koossa oli onneksi mitä parhain joukko suvun naisia kolmessa polvessa valmiina seikkailuun. Perustin ”Ladyt laitumella” whatsapp- ryhmän, johon kirjoittelin varustelistoja ja tietoja kohteesta. Kotimaanmatkailun tyypillinen piirre, viime hetkellä varausten tekeminen, näkyi myös tässä meidän matkasuunnittelussa. Pari päivää ennen lähtöä päätimme ajaa ilman yöpymistä Hyvinkäältä Tampereen kautta Viirinkylään.

Heinäkuu 2021 Viirinkylä: saapuminen

Olisin halunnut mennä kaikkiin kyliin ja kaikkien emäntien ja isäntien luokse ja jossain vaiheessa kesää olin haaveillut kylästä kylään paimenloma-tourneesta, mutta se jäi nyt ehkä jonakin muuna ajankohtana toteutettavaksi. Monen tekijän summana varasin meille loman Arton reilun sadan lampaan paimenina ja majoituksen Kemijoen varressa sijaitsevaan mökkiin. Meidät toivotti tervetulleiksi Arton sisarenpoika tyttöystävänsä kanssa ja jo silloin saimme kokea, mitä vieraanvaraisuus ja välittäminen täällä tarkoitti.

Ensimmäisenä iltana lähdin reippaasti uimaan ja opin heti ensimmäisestä kokemuksesta, että Kemijoessa on virtausta, jota ei rannalta katsomalla huomaa. Seuraavilla kerroilla aloitin uinnin vastavirtaan ja annoin sitten myötävirran tuoda takaisin kotirantaan. Myöhemmin selvisi myös syy siihen, miksi vedenpinta oli viikonloppuna matalammalla kuin arkena; viikonlopun pienempi sähkön käyttö vaikutti veden pinnan laskuun mökin kohdalla. Vesivoimala näkyi uimapaikalle ja ihmisen vaikutus luontoon konkretisoitui.

Iltaisin saunoimme, grillasimme ja vietimme ihanan kiireetöntä aikaa neljän naisen tiiminä, joka harvoin arkena ehtii pystähtyä keskustelemaan, nauramaan ja kokkaamaan yhdessä.

Heinäkuu 2021 Viirinkylä: perehdytys ja paimentyöt

Arto tuli ensimmäisenä aamupäivänä perehdyttämään meitä paimentyöhön. Meillä oli vastuulla kolme laidunta, joissa oli yhteensä 118 lammasta. Paimentyöhön kuului kerran päivässä lampaiden laskenta ja tarkastus, että kaikki voivat hyvin, kuivikkeiden lisääminen suojiin ja leipätarjoilu.

En osaa edes kuvailla sitä vieraanvaraisuuden tunnelmaa, ystävällisyytttä ja välittömyyttä, jota Artosta huokui, kun hän aamupäivällä tuli mökille, istui meidän kanssa pitkän tovin kahvilla – ja kertoi omaa tarinaansa. Kiirettä ei ollut, ei ensikohtaamisella eikä koskaan sen jälkeen.

Ei aikaisia herätyksiä kukonlaulun aikaan eikä suorittamista. Oli upeaa kuunnella, miten Arto puhui lampaista, kotikylänsä tunnelmasta ja siitä työstä, mitä nyt varsinaisen työuransa jälkeen on lähtenyt tekemään. Lampaat ovat tilalla villantuotantoa varten; Arto keritsee ja naisystävä Hilkka karstaa ja pesee villlat sekä kehrää langoiksi. Pässejä päätyy teuraaksi, eikä se vaikuttanut olevan Artolle sen helpompaa kuin veljelleni aikoinaan kesälampaista luopuminen.

Ihmettelin aluksi, miten Arto voi tunnistaa lampaat ja muistaa niiden nimiä. Mutta kun me vietimme aikaa laitumilla ja muistimme hoitaa myös tehtävistä mieluisinta, lampaiden rapsuttelua, opimme mekin tunnistamaan jo muutamia persoonia muiden joukosta.

Musta puskijapoika oli ensimmäisenä päivänä vieraanvarainen, mutta rohkaistui ja otti meistä mittaa aina riehakkaammin, mutta sympaattisella tyylillä. Minni, Iines ja Tiinu texel- lampaat oli helppo erottaa kokonsa vuoksi. Laitumilta löytyi myös Pekka ja Pätkä, Urkki ja Pena, Tarja, Sylvi ja Aman. Jokaisella laitumella oli myös ne haikeat hyvästeltävät, jotka tulivat lähtiessä saattamaan portille saakka ja kauneinta oli, kun alkuun säikyistä ja aroista kartistoista tuli meidän ystäviä.

2020-luku. Uusi-Seelanti, Amsterdam, Viirinkylä ja Vanttausjärvi

Olen entistä kiinnostuneempi uudistavasta liikkeestä ja edelleen uudistavasta matkailusta. Paimenloma on erinomainen esimerkki siitä, mitä tapahtuu, kun pysähdytään määrittelemään mikä elämässä on merkityksellistä, millaista tulevaisuutta haluamme rakentaa ja millaisia vieraita omaan kylään kutsua.

Uudistavan matkailun ytimessä on ajatus siitä, että yhteisöt itse määrittelevät sen tavan ja sisällön, miten haluavat omaa paikkaansa kehittää, miten tuottaa hyvinvointia ja auttaa luontoa uusiutumaan. Yhteisöjen asukkaiden tulisi löytää vastaukset kysymyksiin siitä, mitä rakastamme tässä paikassa, mistä me olemme ylpeitä ja mikä meille on tärkeintä. Palveluja ei tuotteisteta tuotteistamisen vuoksi, vaan edistämään yhteistä hyvää. Matkakohteiden sijaan puhutaan yhteisöistä.

Uudistavan matkailun taustalla vaikuttaa ihmisten halu ja tarve etsiä ja löytää terveyttä, hyvää oloa ja huolenpitoa – ja halua osallistua hyvän tekemiseen. Uudistava matkailu pitää sisällään kestävän ja vastuullisen matkailun periaatteita, muistutuksen kantokyvyn merkityksestä ja ajatuksen siitä, että matkailun tulee tuottaa enemmän hyötyä kuin haittaa. Uudistavassa toiminnassa ei unohdeta taloudellista kannattavuutta, vaan viedään toiminta edelleen seuraavalle tasolle osallistamalla yhteisöt ja eri alojen toimijat toimimaan yhdessä, ilman rajoja.

Minä olen joidenkin vuosien ajan hakenut vaikutteita ja tietoa uudistavasta matkailusta seuraamalla ensisijaisesti kansainvälisiä vaikuttajia Anna Pollockia ja Daniel Wahlia. Tunnetuimmat kohteet, joissa uudistavaa toimintaa on sovellettu matkakohteissa löytyvät Uudesta-Seelannista ja Amsterdamista, Daniel Wahl vaikuttaa Mallorcalla Espanjassa.

Minä julistan Suomen uudistavan matkailun esimerkkikonseptiksi Lapin Paimenlomat!

Voit lukea lisää uudistavasta matkailusta blogikirjoituksestani: Regenerative Tourism

Voit tehdä hyvää ja vaikuttaa osallistumalla paimenlomille!
Laita seurantaan: IG @Lapin Paimenlomat ja FB Lapin Paimenlomat

Arton kanssa pääsimme kyläyhteisöä hyödyttäviin talkoisiin; Arto karsi kylätalon pihapiirin pajukkoa, me keräsimme oksia ja teimme niistä kerppuja, jotka lampaat saavat kuulemma jouluherkkuina muistona tästä kesästä.

KIITOS Annika ja Lotta, että kutsuitte minut mukaan tämän konseptin suunnittelun!
Tämä on ollut yksi kauneimmista työtehtävistä!

KIITOS kaikki tammikuun työpajoihin osallistuneet!

ERITYISKIITOS Arto!
LÄMMIN KIITOS Merja ja Jari!
Olen onnellinen, että verkossa tehty työ konkretisoitui aitoon ja ikimuistoiseen kokemukseen!

KAUNIS KIITOS Mamma, Minna ja Thelma ihanasta matkaseurasta!

Voit katsoa kuvakoosteen Paimenlomasta tästä.

Ja lopuksi, kiitos Sinulle, joka luit tämän artikkelin ja seuraat blogiani.

Anu

Matkani jatkui vielä Pyhä-Luostolle ja edelleen Sallaan, joissa vaelsin kauniissa kesäsäässä, hiljaisuudessa ja luonnosta nauttien. Kotiin palasin autojunalla, yksin. Muut suvun naiset olivat nousseet junaan Rovaniemellä yhteisen paimenloman jälkeen.

You can read this article also in English: Regenerative Tourism: Case Shepherd Holiday in Finnish Lapland

Do I really need to pay for this?

While you are on vacation, we are at work.

I would be extremely happy if all the travelers read this blog article. It´s a show of respect for all those working in Tourism Industry, fighting for their livelihood in these difficult times.

To start – it´s understandable to envy Tourism professionals who seem to be privileged while working in careless atmosphere with relaxed and happy people. Working in Tourism business is a kind of vocation: we love to do what we do and don´t count the hours when flexibility is needed – often because of unforeseen and involuntary change – to make sure our guests are happy and pleased.

There are also plenty of lucky professionals  working outdoors, free from the stagnant atmosphere of offices, schedules, annoying bosses and Excels. Lucky them! The only sad side is that there are jobs and pay only when there are paying customers. This year, less than ever, but still, those who love their work are ready to serve when jobs call.

What one sees while meeting professionals is the best part of the show: the moment on stage, authentic performance that has been practiced and even the famous plan B has been done. Tourism professionals have studied years to gain skills and continuous further training is necessary.

The job description also includes mandatory and regularly renewed certificates such as safety passport and first aid certificate. Language skills, emotional intelligence and general knowledge are required for natural and genuine interaction.

Tourism professionals have been blamed for poor financial management

We cannot avoid the fact that there are lot of life style entrepreneurs in Tourism industry.  But is it a problem or a shame?

Life style entrepreneur aims to do one´s  best and does the work, not only with reason but also with heart. The other fact is that there are also entrepreneurs who do not have studies or skills in all the required areas relevant to the business and can´t be blamed for that.

Running a tourism business is the sum of many skills and that makes it also challenging. Entrepreneurs should buy outsourced services insofar as their own skills or time are not enough. Purchase of these services may seem like an extra expense  – specially when cash flow is low – even if they are necessary from the point of view of service quality and profitability in the long run.

Poor financial management can be due to the difficulty of pricing. The price of a tourist service consists of very many parts. The most challenging part has been shown to be the pricing of  entrepreneur’s own time although it is ultimately the most important resource. Another risky price reduction target is the staff.

Pricing is one of the invisible background influences when the curtain rises and the show begins – do we have any paid audience? How we have convinced the guests that this service is worth the price, how we redeem the promises and how we ensure that the price is so attractive and profitable that the curtain can be reopened again and again.

Yes, you really should pay for the service

The state of emergency caused by COVID-19 and the crisis have raised the debate about the pricing of tourism services to the social media channels favored by domestic tourists and from there on to traditional media and back again to social media.

Entrepreneurs have tried to make their voices heard to justify the prices.  Interest in nature based tourism and domestic destinations has grown which is very positive phenomenon. Tourism companies have developed new services in new situation trying to understand the needs of the new segments. The challenge has been the short season, which follows the holiday times of domestic tourists, marketing and pricing. And the fact that there are few of us, 5,5 million people live in Finland.

Finns travel the most among European Union citizens, more than 90 percent of those over 15 years make at least one trip (Eurostat 2017). The average Finn makes eight trips a year, half of them in Finland (according the studies before COVID-19). The study conducted during the Finnish Travel Fair 2020 in Helsinki confirmed the same result. Now, what matters us most when living this special moment of COVID-19, are the services bought and money spent.

Travelers are not used to spend as much money  while travelling home as when travelling abroad. The picture above shows, among other things, that Finns are used to accommodate on a domestic trip mostly in own cottage or with friends and relatives – for free.

Finns are used to spend time outdoors in nature with no need for guided services. Surviving alone and planning one´s own trip can still be merit for many. We live in a time of attitude change and can´t expect the accustomed way of doing and thinking changing in an instant. But we all can influence and be agents of change.

I had a great experience on a fully organized hiking trip last summer:  Hiking in Senja – understanding the beauty and power of nature.

How about making pricing visible

Instead of arguing about the right price level (which is increasingly tied to values), we could look for ways to understand each other. Responsibility is a value that affects the pricing and should be made visible.

International studies show that customers want responsibly produced services and are willing to pay for them. Studies also show that when the moment comes, the only choice for many consumers is still, unfortunately, the price.

At the moment, making responsible choices while producing services and ensuring the most ethical production chain can rise the price. Finlayson (Finnish textile company established in 1820) has made brave responsibility communications in Finland.

Finlayson launched an advertisement (picture above) a year ago promoting duvet coves in two different prices which were also available for purchase. They showed that the price difference was due to responsible choices.

Concrete doing helps to understand the challenges

My respect for those who make their living by providing tourism services in Finland has risen further since I launched a nature based service as part of Love Forest Finland concept: Forest Walk during which a Love tree is planted. My livelihood is not dependent on this product but it has helped to understand the harsh everyday life when you simply can’t find paying customers enough.

I have started to publish the prices and the costs behind them in very open way. You can find an example of it below:

Regenerative tourism service in Mood of Nature

I have commercialized this concept in accordance with the Regenerative tourism paradigm and I can tell you, I can’t just praise a good cash flow.  My financial balance for this concept is far from positive even though I have been studying and working in Tourism industry all my life.

You can read more about Regenerative tourism (in Finnish) in my blog and for more information in English I suggest you to follow the studies and articles by Anna Pollock.

One and last question: ”Now that you know where the price is made up, what would you be willing to give up to make the price lower?”

Thank you for following my blog. I appreciate any comments and feedback.
Let´s  keep on acting for better future.

With love, 
Anu

 

Is it ok for you to be a Tourist?

News from Finland

Let´s talk about Tourism in Finland, again. I have been following the debate of Finnish Tourism for years. Sometimes I follow it as an outsider, comparing it to my experiences in Spain where I used to live and work in tourism industry more than ten years and still have a strong connection to Spain. Spain is one of the biggest countries in the world when talking about Tourism and we have a lot to learn from Spaniards. I have also done research about sustainable tourism in Spain years ago and it´s results had come quite often to my mind lately.

This week we followed the big event called Suomi Areena which gathers representatives of our society to discuss about the actual issues. Some of the influencial persons of Finnish Tourism industry had also attended the thematic debates of the event.

Unfortunately, I couldn´t be there and didn´t find any videos of the interviews. So, to get an idea what has been discussed is based on few posts on Twitter and LindedIn. According to them the main issue had been the need to clarify the message how to promote Finland as a Tourist destination.

Now it´s interesting to follow the next steps; we have a kind of tourism brand but we need to clarify it, specially from the responsible point of view.

During that event they also talked about Iceland and the secret of its success as a tourist destination. Hopefully they also talked about how to anticipate the problems of fast growing tourism as the success-story of Iceland has its pros and cons as we also know.

Nobody wants to be a Tourist?

There have been couple of articles I have also read during the last couple of days. One of them is this: Residents in Tourism hotspots have had enough which is basicly about overtourism.

Harold Goodwin has defined overtourism as following and I agree it: ”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”.

In the article linked above, the chief executive of Helsinki Marketing, Laura Aalto, pointed out this: “Nobody wants to be a tourist, everybody wants to be part-time locals. Our job is to create the kind of circumstances, conditions and platforms for visitors who come to Helsinki to meet with the locals and not go to the most obvious attractions”

Ever since I have been studying and working in Tourism industry (more than 25 years) it had been repeting  the same  – nobody wants to be a tourist. Sometimes one wants to be a traveller, some other moment adventurer and now part-time local?

Local meets visitor

I got the point of Laura Aalto´s opinion in the article above and I do agree many other insights in the article. Helsinki marketing is doing  good job and we are happy that our opinions seem to be of our decision makers´interest.

But I somehow got stuck in the world of part-time local. When talking about encounteres  the line  between locals and tourists  is very sensitive and personal and should always be defined by the locals. Are the part-time locals ready to follow the rules and responsibilities – do they pay for the services?

In Spain, when doing the research, most of the locals I interviewed, told that they prefer tourists to have their resorts and own areas so that locals can keep on living the tranquil everyday life. They told they are happy to have tourists and they understand the benefits. They also had interest to offer local services and share cultural specialities  – when they get paid for it because Tourism is an industry where people need to earn also their living.

This is one of the views, which I as tourism professional, would like to point out now in Finland; Tourism industry must be developed in responsible way considering also the economical sustainability and fair pricing. It´s good to remember that skilled professionals are also local.

Helsinki Guides get sometimes messages where locals ask guides to inform the tourists not to enter to private gardens nor to take pictures of private homes or children playing in backyards. In wintertime we had news from Lapland about the locals tired of too many tourists in local supermarkets and pharmacies. One of the Spanish Tour Leaders told the tourists were not so happy to walk in congested streets in Rovaniemi which had been promoted as an authentic wilderness capital.

Different values mean different expectations

Of course the expectations of locals and tourists change and have been changing. The cultural evolution in our society and its influence in tourism is evident.

Transmodern tourists want to have authentic experiences together with locals,  but in the other hand they do respect the rules locals want to establish, they are ready to pay for the experiences and they do respect the nature.

There are still, though, postmodern individualists, adventurers who wants to take their own way and not follow the others, those who expect to have tailor-made services, produced in customer´s terms and defenetly don´t want to be called as tourist.

There are also plenty of modern and traditional tourists willing to have the traditional sightseeing-tours and visiting the most popular sights.

It seems that Finland and Helsinki want to focus on transmodern tourists which is a good decision, as it is the fastest growing value based visitors group in the world.

Most of the visitors coming to Finland at the moment seem to be traditional and modern tourists, and we all need to work hard to get  the marketing message through to our potential visitors  –  and meanwhile understand the expectations of different kind visitors and be ready serve them.

Arctic point of view – what is the correct price for the experience?

I also red an other interesting article: Sustainable arctic Tourism and was happy to find some very good insights about sustainability. Rauno Posio, Project director in Lapland Chamber of Commerce and member or Arctic Economic Council says as following:

”The problem is how to combine the pristine nature with tourism flows. The north will not and should not become a mass tourism destination. Instead, we need to provide high-quality services with prices that help us avoid overpopulating our tourist attractions.”

There are many other persons in industry also talking about pricing. I think it´s very important and would like to totally agree. But it´s again, a theme with pros and cons.

Finland is already known as an expensive tourist destination, Finns and specially Finnish families often travel abroad because domestic tourism is more expensive.

If we make sure the service is worth of higher prices when promoting it abroad – higher prices could be one solution. Maybe there could be other prices for domestic visitors? I have written about nature based luxury experiences and pricing in this previous post: Yes – we have Luxury Tourism in Finland

I also agree those who are telling us not to worry  about masstourism in Finland; we have plenty of pace  and no risk to become a masstourism destination. It´s not about masstourism but about overtourism in our case. I recommend to read the article at the end of this post for not to confuse with the definitions.

Tourism is hospitality industry where human meets human

To offer Premium level Customer Service (new luxury) highly skilled professionals are needed and at this moment there is lack of employees in Finnish Tourism industry. Hospitality enterprices refuse to pay higher salaries and offer better living conditions for seasonal employees because of bad marging. Political decisions to support the industry, high standard education and very good management is needed.

One of the projects to find solutions is the one funded by The Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland called Matkailudiili ( Tourism deal). Please, read more about it here in English: Tourism deal

So – what´s my point in all this?

I would like to point out, that Responsible way should be the only way to develop Tourism. Responsibility is about making human decisions, respect the local and understand that where ever we travel, the time and skills of the Service providers and resources of the experiences should be paid, because Tourism is industry and profession.

In Finland we need to take special care of our nature. In many destinations where overtourism is recognized as a problem, the problems have started from the sights free of charge – because that´s the way to be as a local – finding the places where the locals are – and over time they get overcrowded.

Tourism is hospitality industry where human meets human with respect. Let the locals be hosts and the visitors be guests – it might be the fairest deal for everybody. To conclude my message, I invite you to read also this very good article by Harold Goodwin resuming the history and actual situation about overtourism as it can be understood now: Overtourism

Thank you for following the blog.
Any comments are appreciated!
With arctic regards,
Anu

ps. If you read the definition of  ”Tourist” of two pages (p.499-591) from the Encyclopedia of Tourism edited by Jafar Jafari (Routledge 2000) – you would be proud to be a Tourist!

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.

190618_työpaja_joseann_paco_ryhmä_anu

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

190618_ryhmä_ranta2

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:

Metsäelämys luovien ideoiden taustalla

Kun juoksen metsässä, mieleeni tulee kaikenlaisia ideoita

Parhaat ideani ovat syntyneet metsässä ja olen oikeastaan kirjoittanut graduni ja Matkailu on COOL – kirjankin metsässä. Tammikuussa 2018 siirryin vakituisesta työsuhteesta yrittäjäksi ja liiketoimintasuunnitelmani rakentui suurelta osin luonnossa liikkuessa – yrityksen nimenkin keksin metsässä: Mood of Finland

Metodini on lukea teoriaa, pohtia aihetta ja lähteä sitten metsään liikkumaan. Joskus joku pieni juttu luontoon lähtiessä jalostuu ihan uudeksi ja kotiin palatessa huomaan alitajunnan tehneen töitä. Metsässä teoriasta kehittyy uusia ideoita, ajatuksia ja toimintatapoja ja ne kirjaan kotiin päästyä ylös.

Metsä on paras hyvinvoinnin paikka ja paras paikka selkeyttää ajatuksia. Lumisina talvina vaihdan juoksun murtsikkahiihtoon. Usein hidastan myös tahtia ja teen pitkiä vaelluksia ja lomamatkani ovat olleet viime vuosina pääasiassa vaellusmatkoja.

saariselkä hiihtokuva ryhmä

Monille teistä lukijoista metsä on tuttu paikka; voit vaikka kommentoida blogiini, millaisia kokemuksia sinä haet metsästä. Tarjotaan metsäkokemuksia myös tänne muualta tuleville matkailijoille.

Matkailukoulutuksen moduloitu non-stop -malli Lego-palikoista rakentaen

Olin ammatillisessa opettajakorkeakoulusssa ja tehtävänä oli purkaa tutkintojen perusteet opetussuunnitelmaksi. Lähdin lenkille ja kehitin mallin mielessäni, juostessa.

Tein monien kymmenien sivujen sisällöistä muutaman sivun kokoisen visuaalisen kuvion. Käytin eri värejä ja muotoja erottamaan sisällöt toisistaan. Jatkona yhdistin kolme ja sitten neljä tutkintoa samaan suunnitelmaan ja aikataulutin kaiken niin, että jokainen opiskelija pystyi rakentamaan oman suunnitelmansa ja etenemään omassa aikataulussa. Apuna käytin eri värisiä Lego-palikoita ja siirsin mallin tietokoneelle. Minut palkattiin vakituiseen työsuhteeseen kehittämistehtäviin kesken opintojen, ilman opettajakokemusta, kun vasta hain harjoittelupaikkaa.

Matkailualan perustutkinnon perusteiden esitys 2003

Matkailualan perustutkinnon perusteiden purku opiskelijoille v.2003 A.Nylund

 SUOMAT-akatemia – MATKAILUAKATEMIA

Melkein kymmenen vuotta sitten olin lukenut läpi Suomen matkailuinfotoimistojen tähtiluokituskriteereitä. Olin juoksulenkillä metsässä ja mietin, että mitenköhän Matkailutoimistojen henkilöstö voi korottaa oman toimipisteensä tähtiluokitusta ja mitenköhän pitkiä työpäiviä tekevät ehtivät kouluttautua.

Ajattelin tarjota Suomen matkailun alueorganisaatioiden (SUOMA ry) yhdistykselle koulutusta. SUOMA ry:n silloinen sihteeri Tarja Haili ja toiminnanjohtaja Hannu Komu innostuivat ja tukivat. Suunnittelimme koulutusta yhdessä, mutta hanke ei kuitenkaan oikein edennyt eikä rahoitusta löytynyt. Niinpä tein gradun ja todistin tutkimuksen kautta, että malli on tarpeellinen ja hyvä. Matka2017-messuilla julkistettiin valtakunnallinen Matkailuakatemia – sivusto.

SUOMI-OPPAIDEN UUDET VAATTEET

Helsingin muotoilupääkaupunkivuoden kynnyksellä juoksin metsässä ja ajattelin, että nyt olisi hyvä hetki hankkia Helsinki-oppaille uudet vaatteet. Soitin Stefan Lindforsille ja kysyin, että haluaisiko hän suunnitella vaatteet. Ja sitten soitin SUOMA ry:n Hannu Komulle ja kysyin, että haluaisikohan info-pisteiden työntekijätkin pukeutua samoihin vaatteisiin. Ja soitin minä myös silloisen Matkailun edistämiskeskuksen (MEK) johtajalle Jaakko Lehtoselle. Lehtonen sanoi, että juu – mutta miksei tehdä uusia vaatteita samalla koko Suomen oppaille. Suomi-oppaiden uudet vaatteet lanseerattiin matkamessuilla 2012.

happy_helsinkiguides_140514 (2)

Suomi-oppaat edustavat Suomea tyylikkäästi ja iloisesti

 YritysInnovaatio-Lab

Tein Matkaoppaan ammattitutkinnon keväällä 2015 yhdessä opiskelijoiden kanssa. Me osoitimme osaamisen opastetuilla kierroksilla, jotka tarjosimme ”ihan oikeille asiakkaille” osana Uusimaa-viikon ja Lapinlahden entisen mielisairaalan tarjoamaa ohjelmaan.

Kun kävin metsälenkillä tutkintotilaisuuden jälkeen mietin, että oikeasti kaikkien opiskelijoiden pitäisi saada oppia ja hankkia tutkinnossa vaadittava osaaminen tuollaisen oikean tapahtuman ja liiketoiminnan suunnittelun ja toteuttamisen kautta. Työssäoppimispaikkoja ei ole tarpeeksi eivätkä etenkään oppaat niihin yleensä mene ollenkaan.

Syksyllä 2015 yli-innovaattori Anssi Tuulenmäki kävi pitämässä meillä starttitapaamisen ja käynnistimme  kuusi  YritysInnovaatioLab- ryhmää, joissa oli yhteensä noin 25 aikuis-opiskelijaa.Toiminta on otettu osaksi koko Matkailun aikuiskoulutuksen pedagogista projektioppimisen mallia. Tammikuusta 2017 alkaen mallia kehitetään YritysLab Finland – nimellä valtakunnallisen verkoston kanssa ja konkreettinen tapahtuma järjestettiin oikeana asiakastapahtumana lokakuussa 2017.

RAKKAUDEN METSÄ. LOVE FOREST FINLAND

Juoksin talvisessa metsässä kansainvälisenä metsäpäivänä, maaliskuussa 2016. Olin lukenut netissä jutun pariisilaisesta sillasta, jonka kaide jouduttiin uusimaan koska vanha ei kestänyt siihen kiinnitettyjen rakkauden lukkojen painoa. Eihän rakkauden lukot ole mitenkään ekologinen tai kestävä tapa osoittaa rakkautta. Mutta me haluamme jotenkin jättää jäljen rakkaudesta ja näyttää sen muillekin.

Suomi on maailman metsäisin maa ja luonto tärkein matkailuvetovoimatekijä. Miksi me emme siis tarjoaisi rakastavaisille mahdollisuutta istuttaa puu ikuisen rakkauden merkiksi. Niin – miksi emme? Ensimmäinen rakkauden puutarha avattiin Espooseen keväällä 2017 ja ensimmäinen Rakkauden metsä avataan Helsingin Vuosaareen vuonna 2019, metsän pohjatyöt on aloitettu jo loppuvuodesta 2017.

 HS 2.7.2016

Alkuperäinen kirjoitus 1.1.2017, muokattu Maailman kansainvälisenä metsäpäivänä 21.3.2018

Kiitos, että seuraat blogiani! Olen kiitollinen myös keskustelusta ja kommenteista kirjoituksiin liittyen.

Kirjoitusta viimeistellessäni kuuntelin Metsäakatemian seminaaria, kannattaa käydä lukemassa hyvää tietoa metsästä täältä: Suomen Metsäyhdistys ry

Matkailu on mainittu seminaarissa lähes kaikissa puheenvuoroissa!

 

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