Author of the Thesis: Laura-Mariia Karvo (2022)
The main objective for the thesis was to create a food tourism trail in the Rovaniemi area for millennials and domestic travelers. The main objective was supported with three sub-objectives: the trail will follow current food trends; visitors can gain new food tourism experiences and lastly, finding development ideas and suggestions to benefit local companies.
The commissioner for this thesis was the Hungry for Finland project of Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences. Encouraging of building the food routes in Finland is one of the main aims of Hungry for Finland. The main purpose of this thesis was to create an example of a food tourism trail.
Understanding the Field and the Target Groups
Sustainable ways of living and traveling are continuously growing. Also, domestic traveling has been increasing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Visitors who are interested in traveling inside their country of residence are called domestic travelers.
Millennials as a customer segment are open-minded, interested in exploring destinations by themselves and experiencing authentic destinations.
In addition to food and beverages, food tourism includes activities with stories of local culture. Santa Claus is the main attraction in Rovaniemi, but with this food tourism trail, the author wants to provide tastes of place and support the local rural economy through current food trends.
A 22-step Trail of Food Tourism Products
The product was supported with a qualitative study. Non-participant observation was used as the data collecting method and content analysis for analysing. The author created observation- and criteria-tables with the theoretical framework as guidance for finding suitable destinations and products for the trail. The trail includes 22 food tourism products and destinations located in Rovaniemi.
The trail was created with online creator Canva and the outcome for the trail is a brochure. The brochure includes instructions, a map with numbered places, information of each place and pictures. The chosen places are cafés, restaurants, nature trails, accommodations, cooking class, brewery visit and other food experiences in Rovaniemi.
In the end of the thesis, development ideas are presented for food tourism in Rovaniemi. For example, English language could be used more widely on tourism provider’s websites. This could attract more people to all the interesting places available. There are also suggestions on how the trail could be created more detailed and include new destinations in the Rovaniemi area.
Construction of the actual route took place from March 2022, and it was finalized in the end of April 2022.