Tuesday, 10 March 2009

A land of missed opportunities!

“Lordis” dubious win in the Eurovision song contest in 2006 ( long story) a few years back gave Finland the opportunity to be able to hold the competition on its shores the following year so you would have thought that the country would have gone all out to truly promote this fantastic place. Yet I was extremely disappointed with how they went about it., and after talking with many other Fins it seems I wasn’t the only one either.

……. So instead of showing, the hundreds & thousands of kilometers of un-spoilt wilderness we have here, let alone the 180 000 lakes and its truly impressive Archipelago ecosystem found on the Southern West coastline let alone all the activities that can be done in and around these areas – to name but a few -…….. Hiking, Canoeing, Kayaking, White water rafting, Skiing, Husky sledging, Gold panning, Nordic walking, Ice climbing and off course Fishing tourism.

They spent 80% of the all the advertising space revolved around Helsinki. Sure the competition was being held there, and it is our capital city steeped in history and becoming a truly cosmopolitan destination in its own right, but Finland is not just about one city, its about Culture, Lifestyle, nature, open spaces, clean air living.

It clearly showed me that whoever was in charge off, or responsible for editing these promotional tourism films had no idea what they were doing and weren’t looking at the bigger picture.

Finland’s tourism revolves mainly around outdoor activities and so you would have thought they would have tried to promote this more heavily. Outdoor activity companies here in Finland, especially between the months of May – August struggle each year to make ends meet ….I know, being a wilderness guide I have my contacts in all areas of the industry…….. and now with the global monetary crisis sweeping the world these businesses will barely stay afloat…..in fact I predict that many will go under unless something is done to help these companies in the near future.

As I have mentioned before the fishing tours industry could rake in millions of Euros per annum if it was run correctly. I have received several comments over the last 2 weeks with regards to the possibility of people wanting to come out here to fish but don’t know where to start with trying to access the necessary information, Guides, accommodation, travel etc etc………. purely because they have seen the images posted on this blog of the massive pike being caught here in the Baltic. What has been surprising to me though is that most, if not all have enquiries, have come from the States.

Finland’s & Sweden’s Baltic region has, if not the best Pike fishing waters in the whole of the Northern hemisphere…..it truly has. Yet nothing is being done to promote this statistic to attract prospective clients to our shores more vigorously…….well that’s here in Finland. Sweden on the other hand are literally light years ahead with regards to this matter.

Myself and Lena have a meeting with the Ostrobothnia fishing federation on Thursday about how this area can not only be improved as a fishing destination but also what is needed to put this world natural heritage site in the shop window with regards to fishing tourism. I’m hoping to work closely with them on this project as its something which runs deep in my veins.

Will write about how this meeting went on Friday