Visit Helsinki Launches a Gay-Friendly Network

The City of Helsinki Tourist & Convention Bureau has launched a network for gay-friendly companies which offer services for gay-, lesbian-, bisexual- and transvestite travelers. The Tourist & Convention Bureau offers the service of the network to international travel organizers, companies and travel agencies whose customer base consists mainly or partly of GLBT customers.

Companies providing accommodation, transport, and event services currently include LSS Long Special Services, Helsinki Expert, Sun Lines Oy, Klaus K, ME-Taksi, TaksiOne, The Travel Experience, Blue1,Tero Saarinen Company, Q-life, Tumlare Corporation, Northern Star Tours, Scandic Hotels, Archtours Ltd, Royal Line Oy, Best Western Premier Hotel Katajanokka.

Social and corporate responsibility is a strong trend in the travel industry and part of Helsinki’s tourism strategy. Helsinki is a friendly and hospitable city towards any visitor and tourist. Helsinki office for tourism and congresses has become a member of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association.

For more information:
Ms. Laura Itävaara, Communications Manager, Helsinki City Tourist & Convention Bureau
laura.itavaara@hel.fi
+358 (0)9 310 36336
www.visithelsinki.com

Explore Finnish Summer on the Road with Bus Pass

Bus Pass is a ticket specifically designed for holiday travel in Finland and can be used for unlimited travel on all bus routes throughout Finland. Bus Pass is valid either for seven days (€ 149) or 14 days (€ 249) and is available throughout the year.

The Bus Pass is available at Matkahuolto service outlets and it is activated at the moment of purchase. It does not include travel in local transport in the Helsinki area and Turku.

For more information:
http://www.matkahuolto.fi/en/travel_services/ticket_products/bus_pass/

Gone fishing in Finland

Fishmind is a Greater Helsinki based tour organizer that arranges fishing trips to fishing trips in 3 different sea areas: Gulf of Finland, Finnish Archipelago and Aland islands. The trips are all inclusive trips and ideal for groups of 4–8.

ALAND ISLANDS TOUR 2009

Sea trout and pike fishing is offered in Aland. Accommodation takes place in a well-equipped 130sqm cabin.

Price for max 4 people / day 950 € (VAT 0%)

Price for max 8 people / day 1580 € (VAT 0%)

The prices include a guide, fishing equipment, permits and accommodation.
Ask for tailored trips tom@fishmind.fi
For more information www.fishmind.fi

RUUNAA Hiking Centre Awarded Recreational Destination of 2009

Ruunaa Hiking Centre has been awarded the best Finnish recreational destination of 2009 by the Finnish Expo Foundation. The 7600+ acre hiking center is located in Lieksa, in Eastern Finland, close to the Russian border. It also runs area along the Lieksajoki River and contains seven rapids within a 16 km stretch.

Ruunaa offers fishing, paddling, rapid shooting, and hiking. Nature lovers can see many wild deer, beavers, otters, bears, wolves, wolverines, and other typical forest and bird species in this area. The area is well-equipped for visitors with 10 restaurants, accommodations, and recreational service providers.

For more information:
www.ruunaa.fi/en/main/

Two Restaurants Awarded “Best Service” in Finland

American Express has awarded two restaurants in Finland with the Best Service Award: The Russian Restaurant Šašlik in Helsinki and Gustav Wasa in Vaasa. The 16th annual Best Service Award is based on votes from American Express cardholders.

For more information:
Mrs. Johanna Haataja, Sales and Marketing Director, A&S Restaurants
+ 358 (0)9 7425 5505
www.asrestaurants.com

Change of Ownership at Santapark Ltd
The City of Rovaniemi, the Finnish Government and Lapin Matkailu Oy are selling the shares they own in Santapark Ltd, a holiday theme park, to the Rovaniemi-based company, Santa’s Holding. Behind this company are Ilkka Länkinen and Katja Ikäheimo-Länkinen, owners of ProSanta Oy.

“The concept of Santapark has proven to work well, but in order to ensure its continued development, we must invest in sales and marketing and keep tight control of costs”, says Ilkka Länkinen. “We will be introducing additional content and a more diverse range of experiences, which will support the image of Father Christmas and other tourism in Lapland”, he continues.

Situated on the Arctic Circle at Rovaniemi, Santapark houses the home cave of Father Christmas and offers unforgettable experiences for people of all ages. Since its opening in 1998, Santapark has proven to be one of Rovaniemi’s and Lapland’s most attractive destinations, both in winter and in summer. In recent years, Santapark has been visited by 50,000–60,000 people per year.

For more information: www.santapark.com

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