Published 1.7.2021

Traveller’s etiquette guides the visitors of the Land of National Parks in Northeast Finland

Implementing sustainable tourism also requires the vigilance of visitors. The traveller’s etiquette, developed for the Land of National Parks area in Northeast Finland , guides visitors to act responsibly. The etiquette is now published in text version as well as in the form of five videos. The message is aimed especially at visitors of Kuusamo, Posio, Pudasjärvi, Salla, Suomussalmi and Taivalkoski.

Make fire only in designated areas! Prefer local! Clean your plate! Use water sparingly! Please give peace to the animals and other passers-by!

Land of National Parks -area’s collective traveller’s etiquette aims to engage all visitors of the area to work together towards sustainable tourism.

– It is not enough that the companies in the region work for sustainability. All those involved in tourism should behave and act sustainably, reminds Liisa Mäkelä, project manager of the Tourism Companies on a Sustainable Development Path project from Naturpolis. Visitor numbers in the area’s four national parks, Oulanka, Riisitunturi, Hossa and Syöte, as well as in other nature sites have been increasing recently, which is why guidelines for responsible visiting are especially important.

– The Outdoor Etiquette created by Metsähallitus, Parks & Wildlife Finland, provides instructions on behaviour in national parks. The traveller’s etiquette supports it perfectly by covering the entire tourism area, says project manager Marjo Kämäräinen from Metsähallitus.

– The idea for the traveller’s etiquette was based on co-operation with tourism companies and other tourism actors, says docent in Tourism Research, PhD Kaarina Tervo-Kankare from the University of Oulu, who is responsible for the tourism sustainability sub-project of the Gateway to Land of National Parks project. – Operators have longed for guidance material for visitors, to support their own sustainability work.

The traveller’s etiquette has also been created in close co-operation with tourism operators in the area. As a result of two workshops and commentary from different tourism operators, a summarized guide for a sustainable visit in the Land of National parks area was created and named as traveller’s etiquette. The flagship products are five etiquette videos, which are aimed specifically for international visitors. The videos have been spoken in English and subtitled in Finnish, German, Spanish, French and Russian.

The etiquette videos have been divided into five themes: camping, weather and safety, activities and hobbies, sustainable tourism and accommodation, peace and quiet, and local touch. Jenni Kujala, the entrepreneur of the Kujala reindeer farm, praises the entity, which also takes into account animal welfare. The etiquette encourages in a positive tone to, for example, use local guiding services when encountering with animals.  – Animal welfare is an integral part of the responsibility of companies that work with animals, and the visitors should feel free to ask questions about issues concerning the animals.

The videos and instructional illustrations have been created to support the text-based etiquette and are suitable for a variety of uses.

– Companies can distribute instructional materials according to their own needs on their websites and social media or utilize them as room boards in their own business premises, says Pasi Korhonen from Kajaani University of Applied Sciences. The aim was to create a useful tool for companies in the region. The etiquette will be published during the summer on various social media platforms of Metsähallitus and the destinations. Local companies and tourism operators will have access to the materials through Parks & Wildlife Finland´s database.

For more information:

  • Jenni Kallioniemi, Naturpolis Oy,
  • Katja Ronkainen, Metsähallitus, Parks & Wildlife Finland, (Questions concerning materials in the database)

The etiquette and the videos have been made in collaboration with the Gateway to Land of National Parks and Tourism Companies on a Sustainable Development Path projects. The Gateway to Land of National Parks project is implemented by the Northeast Finland Development Company Naturpolis Oy, Ruka-Kuusamo Matkailu ry, Metsähallitus Parks & Wildlife Finland, University of Oulu, Kajaani University of Applied Sciences Oy, Syötteen Matkailuyhdistys ry, and the municipalities of Salla, Suomussalmi and Posio. Project funding Northern Ostrobothnia Association, European Regional Development Fund and the state (70%). The Tourism Companies on a Sustainable Development Path project is implemented by Naturpolis Oy, Ruka-Kuusamon Matkailu ry, Taivalkoski Matkailuyhdistys ry and Hossan Matkailuyrittäjät ry. Funding Northern Ostrobothnia ELY Center, Rural Development Fund for Rural Development (80%).

Links to the traveler´s etiquette material:

Traveler’s etiquette on Youtube:

Video 1. Sustainable tourism and accommodation

Video 2. Peace and quiet

Video 3. Local touch

Video 4. Camping, weather and safety

Video 5. Activities and hobbies