If I had the task of handing out awards for resort marketing entrepreneursâ€™, then a very special individual would certainly be high up on my list, for the way he has reinvigorated the resort marketing of Laplandâ€™s tourism industry with the Kakslauttanen Artic Resort.
Meet Jussi Eiramo, a white bearded gentleman from Lapland who believes in fairy tales and knows a resort marketing opportunity when he sees one.
The Resort Marketing Dream is Born
Back in 1973 Jussi set off on a fishing trip to Finlandâ€™s most northern village, Utsjoki. On the drive back he ran out of fuel, and had no choice other than to set up camp by the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. Nowhere is otherwise known as the village of Kakslauttanen, 250 kilometres north of the Artic Circle. Jussi was so charmed by the magical surroundings he decided to put there for the rest of the summer, living in his tent. It was then the penny dropped, Jussi pondered, if I can gain so much from this experience, then surely others can too.
He soon set about erecting a more permanent fixture and by the following summer had constructed a small log cabin. Not one to miss a marketing opportunity; he quickly set up a cafĂ©, serving food to passengers on route to the North Cape. In next to no time he owned and operated 8 log cabins and a 30 x 30 square meter cafĂ©.
As with most tales of entrepreneurship, it may seem easy, but the reality was anything but. In order to achieve this feat, Jussi had to convince the Kera Fund (Finnish part State Owned Investment) that tourism in Finland was a realistic proposition. Not long after the oil crisis hit and Jussi had to overcome the challenges that came his way by throwing his canny personality in to resort marketing.
An Adaptive Marketing Strategy
The Finnish population now had little money to spend, so Jussi had to think on his feet and turned his attention to European prospects who were not affected by the oil crisis. In autumn 1991 Jussi packed up a few belongings in his car and set off on a month long resort marketing trip. It took him all the way through Europe and as far afield as Milan. A month later when he returned back to Kakslauttanen, he started to see the fruits of his tireless networking. His first European reservation request had been received; he knew that his marketing road trip had been a great success. While other Finnish hotels were going under, the Kakslauttanen Resort was now thriving. The resort was now packed to the rafters with European guests and experiencing record visits.
The Remarkable Difference
Jussi identified the scenic beauty of the Finnish countryside, combined with a spectacular view of the Northern Lights as being the key differentiator. As he so eloquently states;
â€śIn this hectic and harsh world, we need fairy tales. In some of us it may be deep down, in others itâ€™s not as deep, but we all have the Christmas spirit.â€ť
He then decided to act upon this Remarkable Difference, that which attracted foreigners to his residence, and set about amplifying the experience. He achieved this by designing glass pods where guests can enjoy the usual creature comforts and fall completely in sync with the magical surroundings.
The pods are unique, and the first of their kind. They are designed from thermal glass which helps to melt the snow on the outside whilst keeping the heat within. Curtains can be drawn for privacy whist still being able to view the Northern Lights from your bed.
A Remarkable Success
As a testament to Jussiâ€™s keen resort marketing savvy, 98% of his customers are now all foreigners. The surrounding area is starting to receive international recognition and recently featured in the Nat Geo magazine. Jussi now offers wedding ceremonies from a chapel built from snow for winter, or a log chapel for summer. With over 70 weddings last year; the Kakslauttanen Artic Resort married more foreign nationals than anywhere else in Finland. To date the resort includes Santaâ€™s Home, Glass Igloos, Kelo Glass Igloos, Log Cabins, Snow Igloos, Traditional Home, Gold Diggers Cabins and Santaâ€™s home.
With a whole host of summer / winter activities Jusi’s dream appears to have no end in sightâ€¦ Visit the following link to make a booking or simply find out more about theÂ Kakslauttanen Artic Resort.
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