The Northern Lights Bus brings the wilderness and all its services to London
The Lapland – The North of Finland tourism project is launching the winter season with an attention-grabbing international holiday swap campaign. Who will be the lucky one to step into the shoes of a Lapland northern lights hunter or snowboarder and travel to a visitor-friendly, arctic wilderness in December? The campaign will gain extra publicity from the impressive Northern Lights Bus, bringing the experience of Lapland on wheels to London, Manchester and Birmingham. Anyone can apply for a holiday swap and the campaign can be followed online at www.onlyinlapland.com/meetthelocals, Facebook and YouTube.
“The silence and space of Lapland give you room to breathe. I want people who live in the city of London to be able to experience what is unique about Lapland – the northern lights and the brightly shimmering snow”, Lapland holiday swapper and northern lights hunter Gareth Hutton explains why he joined the campaign.
As well as Gareth, who lives in Enontekiö, two other Finnish families in Rovaniemi and Pyhätunturi are also offering to share their lives in Lapland with visitors from abroad. Holiday swap winners from any country will be selected in October and the week-long stay will take place from 2 – 8 December 2013.
“Travellers want to be surrounded by the local way of life and are looking for unique experiences. These holiday swappers are opening their own homes to others, sharing the environment in which they live and talking about the experience of Lapland,” says Hanna-Mari Talvensaari, Head of Marketing, Lapland – The North of Finland, from the Regional Council of Lapland.
The Lapland – The North of Finland winter campaign kicks off at an event for the media at the Finnish Embassy in London on 5 September 2013. Everyone will be able to find out more about the lives of the Lapland holiday swap participants and the wonders of the nature of Lapland on the internet and on the Northern Lights Bus. From 9 to 15 September the Northern Lights Bus, based on a traditional double decker, will be touring London, after which the Lapland experience will move on to Manchester and Birmingham.
|The Northern Lights Bus|
Lapland is soaring in popularity among foreign tourists. Last year Lapland accommodation businesses clocked up 2.4 million nights, an all-time high. Foreign guest nights were up 13.5% on the previous year. The largest group of tourists, measured in terms of nights spent, was from Britain, followed by Russia with Germany coming in third. (Statistics Finland 2013) Meet the locals!
Gareth Hutton (32) who runs his own nature tourism business in Enontekiö is originally from New Zealand. He first came to Finnish Lapland to do voluntary work with huskies in 2009. He lost his heart to the wilderness of Lapland and to Finnish Elina and he’s still there. Gareth loves snowboarding and snowshoeing and his passion is photography.
Anu Lampinen (29) who loves snowboarding and Western riding works at the central booking office of the Pyhätunturi resort. Sporty Anu’s life revolves around her own Quarter horse and her boyfriend. With her boyfriend she goes snowboarding and surfing and enjoys travelling in search of the perfect wave.
As well as working as a journalist and a teacher, Eero and Tiina Leppänen (50) from Rovaniemi have grown-up children and enjoy skiing, mountain biking, mushroom picking and travelling. The cross-country ski trails and nature trails on the hill Ounasvaara start from the family’s back garden, which mean the forest is literally on their doorstep.
Hanna-Mari Talvensaari, Head of Marketing, Lapland – The North of Finland, Regional Council of Lapland
firstname.lastname@example.org, +358 (0)40 570 0268
Jules Ugo, Lotus UK
email@example.com, 0207 953 7470
International winter campaign designed and run by SEK and the media agency Voitto.
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Lapland – The North of Finland tourism project aims to create pulling power for northern Finland, especially in the Netherlands, the UK‐, Germany and Russia. The target group for Lapland and Koillismaa is modern humanists, who make up 15% of the global tourist population. The Finnish Tourist Board’s budget for the three-year project is 5.8 million euros. The project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the Regional Council of Lapland and the Council of Oulu Region, the municipalities of Lapland and Koillismaa and the Finnish Tourist Board.