Finland to bank on wildlife to promote tourism

Finland is making attempts to promote its wildlife to attract tourists.

The country is looking to enhance its wildlife tourism, even though it is a comparitively new entrant into the field. The nation benefits from exciting and magnificent wildlife, especially its bears, and tourism planners are confident that their efforts to sell Finland as a bear country will pay rich returns.

Global tourism statistics show that wildlife tourism is growing at the rate of 10 percent a year. Even though wildlife tourism has generally been a preserve of professional photographers and dedicated animal lovers, more people are becoming interested in the concept and in the sheer thrill of watching wild creatures in their natural habitats. Tourism officials in Finland said that travellers are looking for authentic experiences to share with friends and families and could therefore be lured to the country’s verdant and pristine forests.

Terhi Hook, project manager for the Finnish Tourist Board, said, ‘They are modern humanists that have travelled a lot and seen the world’s metropolises.’

Finland is already known as a destination for bear watching, and most of the country’s wildlife tourists to date have specifically visited to watch the creatures roam in their natural habitats. But although bears might be considered the mascots of the nation’s budding wildlife tourism efforts, tourism officials are also keen to extend the scope of wildlife tourism in the country.

Susan Moore, a professor from Australia’s Murdoch University, said, ‘Really look at the small things as well as the big things, and try to have a very integrated product where you have not only bear watching, you might have berry picking, bird watching. And really make the most of fantastic natural assets that Finland has.’

There are many wildlife tourism companies that already operate in the country.