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Save the tourism business in Lapland

Entrepreneurs in Lapland have had to take resilience as the new attitude. They have taken actions quicker than before and developed their business in fast-forward.


Sakariina Heikkanen

Haaga-Helia ammattikorkeakoulu

Published : 26.01.2021

One year ago, nobody knew about a huge global pandemic. It hit the tourism business in Lapland just in the middle of high season and cut the booming business like a sharp knife.

The magic word

At the virtual Haaga-Helia Business Innovation Conference 2020, Dr Eran Ketter presented his research on resilience strategies and the entrepreneurial mindset within the tourism business in the face of COVID-19. The research focused on tourism SMEs’ capacities to absorb the crisis and to adapt.

In his case study of Abraham hostels, he found out that important factors when fighting a crisis are revalidation of the market, evaluation, fast decisions, adaptive thinking and entrepreneurial resilience. Let us focus on the last one – resilience.

What does being resilient mean? The definition of resilience in a business context is the capacity for an enterprise to survive, adapt and grow in the face of turbulent change. A word à la mode but also one that every entrepreneur should know, also in Lapland where in the beginning of the year 2020, it was time to move into crisis mode and take quick actions.

Money makes Lapland go around

Entrepreneurs in Lapland have had to take resilience as the new attitude. They have taken actions on their short or long-term plans quicker than before and developed their business, products, services and digital skills in fast-forward. Co-operation with others is on a totally new level. To fight for survival, the entrepreneurs have learned to ask for help, rethink, network and adapt. Stakeholders have rushed to offer help – among those, the Centres for Economic Development (ELY Centres) granting subsidies.

The House of Lapland tells about these rapid changes of the past year in their blog “Now is the time for Lapland’s business environment to truly demonstrate its resilience and adaptability”.

Win-win situation at best

The image of Lapland – kylmä, kaukana, kallis or cold, far, expensive – is traditionally connected to travelling to Lapland. However, the resilience in the face of a crisis has made businesses bolder and made them take big steps towards what the customers want. Could this finally change the image at a high speed? Maybe even turn Finns more eager to visit our extraordinary Lapland. Resilience may just make Lapland great again!

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