Hotels in Finland to feature Angry Birds theme

Three hotels in Finland are to offer attractions that feature the Angry Birds theme.

Angry Birds is a video game that has captured the attention of smart phone users all over the world. With children and adults alike being addicted to the game, three hotels in Finland have taken it to the next level by bringing its themes to the real world, and allowing guests to play the game without using their smart phones. They are opening Angry Birds themed activity parks that are not like typical theme parks.

Instead of a smart phone app, players use their hands and feet to move to the game’s next level.

Iiro Rossi of Holiday Club Resorts, said, ‘There will be different kinds of activities for children as well as for grown-ups. There will be climbing, sliding, crawling, jumping, scoring, driving, playing, you name it. One thing missing are traditional rides usually seen in amusement parks.’

The idea behind the plan is to offer unique experiences that will attract more visitors to the country. By offering the game as a core attraction in the hotels, Finland tourism officials are planning to tap into a market for game-loving travellers. The concept for the interactive parks is to be presented during the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions Expo 2012, from November 12 to 16, in Orlando, US.

Holiday Club CEO, Vesa Tengman, said, ‘We need more travellers besides from the neighbouring areas Russia, Sweden and Norway. Currently we are able, by using only Finnish power, to produce experiences which attract not only local but also international travellers.’

The hotels that will be implementing the theme are the Kuusamon Tropiikki, Saariselka and Lappeenranta. Other hotels that will offer the theme in addition to normal amusement park activities are also being planned in Finland.

 

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.

Finland Latest Victim of Ryanair Flight Cuts

Ryanair, the Ireland-based no-frills airline company, has announced further cuts to its forthcoming flight schedules.

Finland is the latest destination to suffer service reductions from the carrier, as it continues a rationalisation of its routes and flight frequencies.

Flights to Turku, a town southwest of Helsinki, will cease from Stansted Airport for the winter, and flights to Tampere and Lappeenranta are also being cut. Instead of 13 routes to Tampere, which include two from Stansted and Edinburgh in the UK, there will now only be five. None of the Lappeenranta routes involve airports in the UK.

According to a spokesman for Ryanair, when commenting on the suspension of winter flights to Turku, the city is considered a summer destination. Reports also claim that having spent an estimated EUR800,000 on marketing the flights, the city of Lappeenranta is perplexed by the announcement of cuts, with deputy city director, Kari Koriakoski, quoted as saying, ‘this is difficult to understand because the flights have been almost full.’

The reductions in the airline’s Finland flights come in the wake of similar cuts to services to Madrid and Barcelona in Spain, the Canary Islands, Morocco, and Kos and Rhodes in Greece, while only last week the company announced that it was suspending flights to Larnaca in Cyprus.

Reasons have varied for why each individual cut has been implemented, but the airline has heaped much of the blame on to governments, airport authorities and tourism authorities for not having honoured funding agreements, or for not cutting taxes or charges.

 

Angry Birds app so popular theme park will open

It is the number one paid app of all time, it has millions of fans around the world – including Prime Minister David Cameron and now it has its very own theme park in the pipeline.

The theme park will be opening in Finland on 28 April 2012, where the game was first designed.

Angry Birds Land will be based on the popular smartphone game, and be part of the Särkänniemi Adventure Park in Tampere featuring rides and interactive games.

Tourists have been told to expect something a bit different, an ‘interactive entertainment experience’ where ‘the physical and virtual worlds combine’.

Miikka Seppälä, the CEO of Särkänniemi Adventure Park said: ‘We wanted to create a unique themed area and associate it with a strong and well-known brand.

‘The Angry Birds characters were born in Finland but are known worldwide by people of all ages. This is a perfect fit for our Adventure Park.

‘Our goal is to motivate the fans, both adults and children, to exercise and enjoy the outdoors.’

The simple game that has become a worldwide phenomenon has been downloaded more than 700 million times since it’s launching.

The game involves catapulting enraged birds at green pigs balanced on buildings made of planks.

The game that took the app world by storm cost just 59p to download, was developed by Finnish gaming company Rovio Entertainment, will now be since in real life as visitors to the park can use a giant catapult to shoot Angry Birds soft toys at green pig balloons floating around a toy brick fortress.

To get a glimpse of Angry Birds Land before it opens, previews will be available though the parks website and the Angry Birds Facebook page.

Ruisrock: A Trip to Finland’s Oldest Rock N’ Roll Festival

South Finland’s Ruissalo island certainly isn’t the nation’s party capital. The island is home to just over one-hundred people, housing relatively few travellers and catering to a permanent population that’s fairly quiet and self contained. Administratively a sector of the nation’s important Turku area, most residents dismiss the island as a small yet pretty opportunity to get away from city life.

But once a year, Ruissalo transforms into one of Europe’s premier party destinations. The island is home to the annual Ruisrock music festival, the largest of its type in Finland and the second-largest music festival in Europe after Germany’s Rock am Ring. Acts have included Rammstein, HIM, and other European rock acts, bringing a distinctly international flair to the small island community.

Residents are amazed at how such an enormous festival has made its way to their island. Ruisrock was once a major counterculture event in the country, attracting hippies and university dropouts in mass quantities, but recent years have seen it transform into a national phenomenon. Tourists from nearby Sweden and Estonia trek to Finland’s tiny island seeking rock, heavy metal, and excitement.

The event has certainly attracted the attention of local lawmakers, who’ve been forced to handle an increasingly large pool of complaints from local residents. But alongside the festival’s noise nature and big-name acts is a powerful economic pull – business owners in Turku expect fans of the event to bring in several million euros for local businesses.

With forty years of history behind it, the festival’s current date is due to be a smash event. Acts such as Ozzy Osbourne and Slash have confirmed their performances, leading to speculation that it could be the biggest in Ruisrock history. For the areas residents it remains a mixed blessing, though those with businesses on the island are praying for a record turnout.