Rent a Finn This summer, Finland is launching its Rent a Finn service, which will see tourists matched to a Finnish ‘happiness guide’. The guides will take travellers hiking through forests, relaxing by lakes and foraging for food to reveal why Finns’ connection with nature makes Finland the happiest country in the world, according to the latest UN report. By Colin Nicholson | Photos: Press photos
The survey asked between 2,000 and 3,000 people in each of 156 countries to imagine the best and worst possible life for them, benchmarking those as ten and zero. It then asked them to rate their current lives on that scale. Finland came top, closely followed by Norway, Denmark and Iceland, with Sweden in ninth place. Visitors to Finland had until April to apply for the initiative, and several thousand did. Just a few will be selected on the 132 | Issue 125 | June 2019
basis of their video applications to join the eight group trips held between June and August, during which they will be welcomed into the homes of ordinary Finns, who will show them how to connect with nature and understand the Finnish art of relaxation. “Many travellers choose to visit Finland because of our uniquely peaceful nature and tranquillity. The Rent a Finn campaign is in response to the global travel trend of living like a local, which is all
about sharing genuine experiences with ordinary people,” says Heli Jimenez, senior director for international marketing at Business Finland. “Pure nature is a part of life in Finland. We go outdoors in any weather and let our babies nap outside. Our happiness guides all share a certain awareness, a great love of nature and an appreciation for slow living.” The eight happiness guides were chosen from hundreds of applicants and will welcome visitors for a few days and show them their own ways of relieving stress in nature. “Time runs differently on our island. It seems to slow down somehow, and there is never a need to hurry,” explains one of the happiness guides, Linda Räihä, who lives with her partner Niko and their chihuahua Helmi in Utö, the southernmost island of Finland.
Promoting Brand Scandinavia! Including Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland.