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Visit Porvoo’s service design project resulted in a partnership status with Santa Claus Finland for local entrepreneurs.

In the spring of 2023, Visit Porvoo organized a Christmas-themed service design project for local tourism businesses in collaboration with service designer Anu Nylund and Petri Paarnio of Santa Claus Finland. The goal was to enhance international winter and Christmas tourism in the Porvoo area through service design and product development. The project explored opportunities for product development, taking into account each company's strengths while promoting regional collaboration.

Joulupukki Vanhassa Porvoossa

During the bustling Christmas season, various daily events bring the essential winter magic to the city, attracting tourists from the metropolitan area and domestic travelers. In addition to these, there is a need for long-lasting service packages aimed at international groups. Santa Claus is an iconic figure for all of Finland, and the sustainable and high-quality co-operation began a few years ago when the city of Porvoo formed a partnership with Santa Claus Finland. Porvoo is the city of Santa Claus’s goodwill, and this partnership and collaboration will continue in the future.

Among the businesses that participated in the service design project and continue their journey with Santa Claus Finland are Runo Hotel, Poukama, Sannäs Manor, and Nordic Ravintolat.

“Porvoo’s city and Santa Claus Finland have had a creative and fruitful partnership throughout our common journey, and it has been highly professional. It was wonderful to be part of Visit Porvoo’s service design project and to realize how significant Santa Claus is to everyone. It was also a joy to witness how engagingly and collaboratively the companies embarked on creating their own service concepts around Christmas in Porvoo. I believe that, socially and even in terms of solidarity, this project has significant meaning. Through the project’s results, we are better equipped to do the important work of making the whole of Finland known as a true Christmas country and Santa Claus’s homeland, which future generations can collectively enjoy,” commented Petri Paarnio of Santa Claus Finland.

“It was delightful to be invited to participate in the service design project with other operators. There is strength in collaboration! I believe that together we can create a memorable and attractive tourist destination of Porvoo. We appreciate the city’s efforts to develop tourism and engage local businesses. We wanted to continue our collaboration with Santa Claus Finland because their values align well with ours. Santa Claus’s goodwill, warmth, and kindness are a great fit for both Porvoo and Sannäs Manor. The services and products recommended by Santa Claus are designed to bring joy and happiness,” said Lena Holmlund, Marketing Manager of Sannäs Manor.

“From Visit Porvoo’s perspective, it is important to have an open dialogue with tourism industry companies about the opportunities of the Christmas season. It is also essential to identify obstacles and how they can be overcome together. Porvoo has a genuine chance to become the most atmospheric and attractive Christmas city in southern Finland, attracting international visitors to experience and see what Porvoo has to offer. The city’s significant investment in the Christmas season is the Christmas market on the market square, which supports our common goals. The possibility of success is increased through dialogue between businesses and the city and strong collaboration with a shared objective,” explained Specialist in Tourism and Events Katri Nikiforow.

To extend and promote the international tourism Christmas season, Visit Porvoo, Santa Claus Finland, and the partner companies have conducted photoshoots with Santa Claus in familiar Porvoo landscapes. The first photos have been published in the city’s image bank, and the next photoshoot is planned when we get snow in Porvoo. The pictures are taken by Anette Sundström, a local photographer from Porvoo.