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Snowmobiling tops tourism fads in Rovaniemi

Published : 13 Mar 2017, 10:01

Updated : 26 Sep 2019, 00:27

  DF Report
FNN Photo

Snowmobiling is typical of the winter in Rovaniemi, which has become a popular event and one of the biggest tourist attractions over the years.

Tour operators who arrange snowmobile safaris during the winter said the popularity of snowmobiling among the tourists, particularly the foreigners, has increased significantly during the recent period due to the growing number of tourists in Rovaniemi.

Sources at the Lapland Safaris, Safartica, and Arctic Circle Snowmobile Park, the three tour operators who organise snowmobile safaris in the city said thousands of local and international visitors experience the thrill of driving snowmobiles through snowy forests, over frozen lakes and rivers, and venturing far away from civilisation.

“Last year we received approximately 250,000 guests of whom the majority took part in snowmobile safari and 99 per cent of them were foreigners,” Lapland Safaris Director of Operations Rami Korhonen said.

Korhonen said this year they are expecting to serve around 300,000 guests. “The number has been increasing strongly over the past years and the trend also continues this year. Especially, the expanding Asian market and aurora tours are behind the growth, but we are also receiving a growing number of European visitors,” Korhonen said.

In general, snowmobiling plays a very important role in tourism in Rovaniemi and Lapland, said the Director, adding that not only as the main attraction but as a way to get into nature to experience other natural elements, like ice fishing, aurora borealis, reindeer, huskies, lunch in wilderness, or staying overnight in wilderness cabin.

“Many times these elements would be very difficult or impossible to reach without snowmobile,” said the Lapland Safaris director. Korhonen said, “For those who hesitative to drive snowmobile themselves, we also offer drive in snowmobile-drawn sleigh.”

“However, we provide safety and driving instructions for everyone before the safari,” added Korhonen, “and we have selected the snowmobiles that are easy to handle by the beginners.”

Officials at Safartica and Arctic Circle Snowmobile Park also expressed similar opinions, saying the number of snowmobile riders among the tourists is on the rise and they are expecting an increased number of amateur snowmobile riders in the coming years.

While visiting the Kemijoki area a number of people were found enjoying snowmobiling on the river, most of them were foreign tourists.

The best part of the safaris is that visitors can choose from among various combinations of trips along with a snowmobile ride — visit to a reindeer farm or a husky farm; a guided ice-fishing safari to a lake in the wilderness; or night-time excursion to view the northern lights. One can choose just a snowmobile ride; it is easy to drive even for beginners where they only need a car or motorcycle driving licence.

These adventurous and unforgettable snowmobile safaris offer visitors the chance to admire the nature of Lapland and its breath-taking scenic beauties.

Snowmobile safaris generally begin in December and continue until the end of March. Tours start from the shores of the frozen Kemijoki River, near the city centre of Rovaniemi.

Speeding snowmobile ride over frozen rivers and forests is perhaps the most thrilling part of the tour. One of the most memorable experiences is driving in the moonlight, under the starry Lappish sky in search of the Northern Lights.