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How Visit Rovaniemi sold €1M of bookings with local suppliers via Bókun

The Bókun Team • November 3, 2021

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An interview with Visit Rovaniemi CEO

Editor’s note: This blog post is part of Bókun’s Better Together series.

Today we are thrilled to have Sanna Kärkkäinen , CEO of Visit Rovaniemi , share how this Finnish destination marketing organization (DMO) works closely with the local community to promote the Rovaniemi destination using Bókun.

Renowned for its Christmas brand and being home to Santa Claus, Rovaniemi is a popular travel destination attracting visitors from all over the world to experience the Arctic Capital of Lapland. Led by Kärkkäinen, the team at the DMO manages the brand – The Official Hometown of Santa Claus© – as well as marketing and sales of tourism services in the area.

Local tourism businesses are stakeholders

Visit Rovaniemi is owned by the City of Rovaniemi and about 210 local tourism service providers from all livelihoods of the tourism sector, including hotels, restaurants, programme service companies, shops, travel agents and other services.

One of their brand’s key values is locality and authenticity, where they believe the local community – citizens and tourism businesses – plays a significant role in responsible and sustainable tourism. A successful destination will then “bring more livelihood, employment and connections to its residents and value to tourism suppliers,” Kärkkäinen says.

Joining forces and leveraging Bókun

The tourism service providers that Visit Rovaniemi works with have had already built a strong local network in order to target global markets with joint marketing. In 2018, they developed that even further by creating a new online marketplace through Bókun to sell destination activities in the winter 2018-2019.

Not only could tours and activities operators use Bókun as a sales platform, their products could also be sold on Visit Rovaniemi’s online marketplace for travellers to book. In fact, Visit Rovaniemi became the first regional travel board in Finland to “ launch a large-scale booking channel that collects products from all around the area to a one place ”.

Like many destinations, COVID-19 came and brought all businesses to a standstill, but the DMO sees this coming Christmas as a season of recovery and is optimistic that business will return to pre-pandemic level by 2022-2023.

About Visit Rovaniemi

Visit Rovaniemi is a public private company established in 2007 and has since been awarded many recognitions in the field of tourism, the most honoured of which is the Internationalization Award by The President of Finland in 2016 for their long-standing work for travel in Lapland and increasing awareness of the area as a travel destination.