Metsähallitus wishes to offer tourism sector businesses sites they can use for providing accommodation, tourism and other services for their customers. A versatile range of services attracts tourists to stay longer and bring money to the local economy.
Our pristine nature is the number one pull factor of Finnish tourism. It attracts Finnish tourists and foreign visitors alike. Both of these groups expect modern accommodation and improved services. Especially in Eastern and Northern Finland, state-owned land intended for business use is often found beside or nearby protected areas and nature attractions. This land can be zoned for permanent homes and holiday houses as well as business sites on which companies can base their accommodation and other services.
As a large landowner we are able to take biodiversity, climate sustainability and different industries into account in zoning. To ensure that zoning serves our customers’ needs as well as possible, we often work together with them. Ready-made sites are available, or we can develop an area covered by different land use plans for your business together.
New opportunities for entrepreneurs in state hiking areas
We are currently preparing general plans for tourism and other land use for three state hiking areas: Evo, Oulujärvi and Kylmäluoma. The plan for Ruunaa Hiking Area was completed last year, and the City of Lieksa is now preparing to zone the area.
We have identified the lack of accommodation services as one reason hampering the growth of visitor numbers in certain areas. We are working with municipalities to zone sites suitable for tourism services and sell them to private enterprises. We believe that improved accommodation services will also attract tourists to extend their visits to these areas. This would reduce total emissions from tourism while bringing more customers to local services.
Resorts with their good services attract tourists
The ski resorts of Lapland draw great numbers of tourists. Most of these resorts operate on state land and close to large national parks. Around tourist resorts, extensive tracts of both zoned and unzoned state land are found, which we are developing together with the municipalities to meet the needs of tourism. Our principle is to only sell zoned land. This means that the state reaps the benefits from the added value created in these areas.
For example, Metsähallitus has been involved in developing the environmentally friendly tourism area of Ruka. The area in eastern Ruka is called RukaValley. Creating a car-free and environmentally friendly resort was one of the starting points for its planning. A unique pedestrian centre, RukaVillage, evolved in western Ruka 10 years ago. A scenic gondola connects RukaValley to RukaVillage and enables easy access from one to the other without a car. Good planning and cooperation have facilitated the development of tourism services in this area in line with sustainable development principles. To support carbon neutral construction, the plan is to build wooden houses on the sites controlled by Metsähallitus in RukaValley.