In April 2022, project’s two pilot events successfully attracted people from around the world to the Arctic Circle

In April 2022, project’s two pilot events successfully attracted people from around the world to the Arctic Circle

In April 2022, project’s two pilot events successfully attracted people from around the world to the Arctic Circle

In April 2022, project’s two pilot events successfully attracted people from around the world to the Arctic Circle

As the name (“Santa Claus Village -Year-round International Tourism Centre) of the development project aptly suggests, one of the goals of the project is to make Santa Claus Village an experience destination that attracts crowds to the Arctic Circle every month of the year. Operating year-round is important for Santa Claus Village companies in many ways, for example, in facilitating the recruitment of employees by offering year-round jobs. At the Arctic Circle, the growth of event organising is seen as one effective way to bring more tourists to the area throughout the year.

Santatelevision video of 2022 Arctic Marathon. Santa Claus Village, through which the Arctic Circle runs, seems particularly suitable customer events that utilize the Arctic Circle and its exotic brand in their communications.

Santa Claus Village tourism seasonal challenges include the quiet spring and snow-free months

At Santa Claus Village, as with most international tourist destinations, the number of visitors varies greatly according to season. By far, the busiest time at Santa Claus Village is understandably the Christmas season, which usually begins in mid-November and continues through the first week of January. Additionally, February and the European winter holiday weeks (spread over four weeks until mid-March) are also very popular times to visit the Arctic Circle.

The end of the winter season and the snow-free months in Lapland in particular pose challenges for Santa Claus Village. From mid-March on, unfortunately, Europeans no longer think of Lapland as a place to visit, as they are already thinking of spring. This is when winter is actually as its best in Lapland. In Rovaniemi, the snow-free period lasts about six months and is generally very peaceful, with the exception of a short summer season after Midsummer. In the 2010s, Rovaniemi’s snow-free autumn season saw growth of Asian tourism for Northern Lights, but unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic greatly reduced this tourism, at least temporarily.

No magic pill for boosting the quiet season; significant growth potential in organising events

The Santa Claus Village Cooperative and its entrepreneurs are well aware that there is no “magic pill” to easily attract tourists to the Arctic Circle year-round. Succeeding in the goals of year-round tourism requires long-term effort and a strong common will from the entrepreneurs of the Arctic Circle. Santa Claus Village’s income streams from the traditionally quiet months are probably best increased with a strategy of small streams.

Santa Claus Village believes that organising medium-sized events from March to October is one important potential way to bring more high-purchasing visitors to Rovaniemi’s Arctic Circle. Santa Claus Village and its cooperative do not strive to act as event organisers themselves but to provide professionals with great facilities throughout the Village.

The magical Arctic Circle itself helps events stand out

For organisers of the event, the Santa Claus Village has high quality, low season accommodation at relatively affordable prices, attractive restaurants, space for events (including ample parking), and above all, the magical Arctic Circle itself. It is the exotic Arctic Circle as a distinguishing brand factor that can attract event organisers and their customers to Santa Claus Village all year round and help them stand ahead of other events.

                The Arctic Circle fascinates event organisers across Europe throughout the year.

With these insights, the Santa Claus Village Cooperative and the Santa Claus Village Year-Round International Tourism Centre development project piloted two events organised at the Arctic Circle in April 2022. The piloting was carried out within work package 5 of the development project.

Arctic Marathon and Arctic Circle Dog Show as pilots

The first pilot event was the international Arctic Marathon. The Arctic Marathon is part of the Wild Marathon family of marathons that take place around the world. The Arctic version of the race was run for the first time in Rovaniemi on April 3, 2022 in excellent winter conditions.

                  Arctic Circle was a great fit for branding the Arctic Marathon event as well as providing its starting and finishing venue.

The marathon and the variety of side programmes offered alongside it gathered dozens of participants from eight different countries. The runners and their supporters were very excited about the marathon and side event experiences, and they used the Village’s accommodation, restaurants and experience services generously during the event weekend.

The second pilot was on April 10, 2022: the Arctic Circle Dog Show. This was a special spring event featuring Lapland dogs, in which three breeds of Finnish and Swedish Lapland reindeer dogs were presented.

The dog show gathered hundreds of people from the dog industry from Finland and Northern Scandinavia to Santa Claus Village.

Lessons from the pilots, and a new guidebook

The feedback from both pilot events was quite positive, and Santa Claus Village has reason to believe that these and similar events will continue at the Arctic Circle in the future. The pilot events also greatly increased the capacity of companies in the region to better serve event organisers.

In addition, the pilot events showed on a practical level how strongly the Arctic Circle itself can help event organisers brand and sell various events held at Santa Claus Village. Partly on the basis of these pilot events, Santa Claus Village will create a guidebook for organising events at the Arctic Circle.