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Fiskars Village awarded as the top emerging cultural tourism destination in Finland

Ministry of Economic Affairs and EmploymentMinistry of Education and Culture
Publication date 18.1.2018 12.30
Press release
Fiskars, Culture Eden. Photo: Visit Finland

Traditions, sense of community and a wide range of arts were the factors that secured the victory for Fiskars Village, located in Raasepori, in the Culture EDEN in Finland competition. Minister for European Affairs, Culture and Sport Sampo Terho presented the award at the Nordic Travel Fair Matka 2018 in Helsinki today. In addition, “Backwoods Paradise” in the Art Town Mänttä-Vilppula, Parppeinvaara Bardic Village in Ilomantsi, Posio – Ceramic Village of Lapland, and Lake Tuusula were recognised for their excellence. An award committee consisting of experts in the fields of culture and tourism chose the awardees.

A total of 24 cultural tourism destinations participated in the national competition in Finland. Among the participants were tourist destinations built around visual arts, design, music, architecture and crafts, for example. The activities of the participating destinations had to be managed by a network consisting of at least four different organisations providing culture-based travel services and experiences in compliance with the principles of sustainable development.

“We have a number of excellent cultural destinations and versatile expertise in Finland to be proud of.  The different regions in Finland have their unique cultural characteristics that interest and attract foreign visitors, and they should be highlighted more in our endeavours to promote international tourism in Finland, says Minister Sampo Terho.

“As the number of tourists keeps increasing rapidly, we should ever more invest in the development of culturally and socially sustainable tourism. Use of local products, raw materials and ingredients, local workforce, sustainable materials, and respect for the local culture and lifestyle are examples of responsible tourism, Minister Terho continues.

The Culture EDEN in Finland competition was organised by the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, and Culture Finland, a programme of Business Finland and Visit Finland. The national competition was part of the European Destination of Excellence competition, organised by the European Commission since 2007. Finland has participated in the competition twice before: in 2008, when the theme was tourism and local intangible heritage, and in 2010, when the theme was aquatic tourism.  In 2017, emerging cultural tourism destinations combining culture and tourism in a responsible and innovative manner were sought.

The winners of the national competitions will be awarded in a ceremony to be held in Brussels later this spring. The aim of the EDEN competition is to reinforce cooperation between actors in the tourism sector. The winning destinations will receive visibility and become part of the European EDEN network, which functions as a channel for marketing and networking.

Photographs of the awarded destinations and the award ceremony are available at the website of Visit Finland.

Reasons for the winning award:

Fiskars Village 

The historical Fiskars Ironworks and Village in western Uusimaa represents a diverse cultural tourism destination, developed in an innovative way with due respect for tradition. Besides the arts, design and crafts, the strengths of the site include various kinds of events, exhibitions and museums. The unique arts and culture offering together with the natural and cultural environment makes this a particularly interesting destination for international visitors. Local food made from raw materials produced nearby or derived from nature and exercise and sports activities add to the amenities. The creative community is constantly developing new products and forms of involvement and unique experiences. Networked practices promote economic, cultural, social and ecological sustainability.

Reasons for the recognitions of excellence:

Backwoods Paradise in the Art Town Mänttä-Vilppula

The Backwoods Paradise in the Art Town Mänttä-Vilppula in Pirkanmaa is a cultural tourism destination that displays Finnish art, industrial heritage and architecture at the heart of the lake and forest landscape. The particular strengths of the site include service packages constructed around museum activities, exhibitions and cultural events. Active development of restaurant and accommodation services and innovative service solutions that promote sustainable development are among the key priorities.  Long-term efforts to develop cultural tourism on a professional basis and the solid, well-networked practices are exemplary. The site has good potential to win even wider international recognition.

Posio – Ceramic Village of Lapland 

Posio – Ceramic Village of Lapland  in Posio, Lapland is a destination for cultural tourism, founded on the strong tradition and expertise in ceramics and crafts in the village.  The investments in culture by the municipality of Posio and various stakeholders have created an attractive centre for cultural tourism.  The sites to be visited maintain the cultural heritage of Posio in a way that brings together the everyday life of the villagers, ancient stories, local culture and northern nature.  The site is well known in the world for ceramic art, with good potential to further strengthen the productisation of services.

Parppeinvaara Bardic Village

The small and compact cultural tourism destination in Ilomantsi, North Karelia showcases the Karelian cultural heritage, in the old days and now. The development of tourism is based on the combination of tangible and intangible cultural offering – Karelian traditions and building heritage, music, military history, contemporary art, culinary tradition, Greek Orthodoxy and landscape – into a unique experience. The long history of collaboration between the Bardic Village and municipal and other actors in promoting sustainable development, increasing the range of tourism products offered and search for new opportunities has produced good results.  Food based on the local and Karelian heritage has won international recognition. 

Lake Tuusula

The Lake Tuusula cultural tourism destination in Uusimaa offers unique experiences about the life of the artist community of the 20th century and contemporary culture. Cultural events and recreational opportunities complement the offering. Increased cooperation among the stakeholders in the culture, tourism and programme service sectors have made this site well known. It is conveniently located close to the Helsinki Capital Region and Helsinki-Vantaa airport. The creative artists now living in the Lake Tuusulanjärvi region are a natural follow-up to the masters of the Golden Age of Finnish Art at the turn of the 19th and 20th century.


  • Susanna Markkola, Project Manager for Culture Finland programme, Visit Finland / Business Finland Oy, tel. +358 46 923 4272 or [email protected]

  • Anne Mattero, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Education and Culture, tel. +358 29 533 0206 or [email protected]

  • Heli Talvitie, Specialist, Ministry of Education and Culture, tel. +358 29 533 0307 or [email protected]

Related links:

Photographs of the award ceremony will be available around 15.00

Photographs of the awarded destinations:

Culture EDEN in Finland kilpailu  

European Destination of Excellence kilpailu  

Culture Sampo Terho