Carita Harju, Excecutive Director of Sauna from Finland talks about Finnish Sauna and its importance for the interbad 2020.

The sauna is an important part of Finnish culture and one of its most popular exports worldwide. At this year’s interbad, the “Sauna from Finland” network will be staging a special show together with Messe Stuttgart on an area of 300 square metres. Experience rooms, products and consulting services are intended to give visitors an understanding of Finland’s unique sauna culture.

“Our mission is to create the best sauna experiences in the world“, says Carita Harju, Excecutive Director of Sauna from Finland.

Carita Harju, Executive director of Sauna from Finland
A main focus of interbad 2020 will be the “Original Finnish Sauna Experience“ – what can visitors expect?

The Finnish saunas are almost everywhere and are built outside of Finland all the time, but not many of them are authentic and high-quality. When you look at the term “sauna” in Germany, you won’t find the same product as in Finland. So we’d like to use our chance at the interbad to educate everyone about the purpose and appeal of the Finnish sauna. There is a reason that the Finnish sauna is a substantial part of Finnish culture.

What differentiates a Finnish Sauna from other sauna or wellness experiences?

The main difference is that we don’t have any time schedules. People can enjoy the sauna as long and intense as they wish. Everyone is allowed to create löyly (evaporating water) by themselves, we don’t employ a sauna master or someone like that. It’s a very individual treatment for the wellbeing. Finnish sauna is an experience where you get to really listen to yourself. Because when you listen to yourself you can probably relax more.

Why should the hotel industry look into the possibility of investing in Finnish sauna products?

Everyone wants to be well and relaxed. That is why relaxation and recovery are the hottest mega trends in the health industry today. Wellness is something everybody strives for. The Finnish sauna is a natural fit for this trend.

How can a Finnish sauna improve a wellness location?

A real Finnish sauna is custom made with focus on a special customer experience. Most hotels today have a sauna, but mostly it’s just a cabin or a single room. That does not represent the feeling of a Finnish sauna. For example, when you enter a spa there is a person who welcomes you and offers directions. There is a special atmosphere to the whole process of renewal. This is something that we have applied to the Finnish saunas to create a multi-sensual experience. With a Finnish sauna you don’t just enter a hot room, you engage in a layered relaxation activity.

Interbad 2020 is the fair with the largest supply of saunas. How important is this event for the industry?

I have been in the sauna business for ten years. The interbad is the biggest fair in Europe in this field. If you want to see what’s new in the business, this is the place to go.

What developments do you expect for the wellness industry market?

Wellness is the global megatrend at the moment. Sauna is fitting in very well. People are overall very stressed and are looking for ways to feel good. I predict that the market for the product Sauna – as a very natural wellness option – is going to grow even more than it has in the past.

How does the Corona pandemic affect the sauna business?

Although the Corona pandemic has affected the Sauna and Spa industry like many others, most of the companies have continued their business quite normally, some even with increased sales. In Finland, ”wellness at home” is definitely a phenomenon now that people are spending most of their time at home and taking care of wellbeing is emphasized. Many are renovating and decorating their homes, and saunas are given a new look as well. After all, bathing in a Finnish sauna is a perfect way to take care of one’s wellbeing as it’s been scientifically proven to reduce stress. The Corona pandemic also shows in B2B sales, especially internationally. Closing the doors from customers have allowed spas and hotels to develop their services and renovate their premises, which they necessarily wouldn’t have time to do in normal circumstances. Sauna service providers are utilizing this time to improve the services to meet the standards of returning customers.

About interbad

interbad, the international trade fair for swimming pools, saunas and spas, is the world’s most important platform in the sector for public swimming pools and one of the top 3 trade fairs for all interests of private swimming pool owners. Globally, it is the trade fair with the largest product range in the field of saunas. On an area of 35,000 square metres, more than 400 exhibitors present their products and services in the field of public bath construction, swimming pool technology, pools, saunas, spas and wellness. Around 15,000 visitors from more than 60 countries learn about the latest products, trends and pioneering ideas. Numerous presentations, workshops and discussion sessions in two congress formats round off the offering.

The next interbad will take place from 27 to 30 October 2020 at Messe Stuttgart. For more information, visit:

Article image: Original Sokos Hotel Seurahuone

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