World Sauna Forum was organized on Tuesday June 7th, for the fifth time in Finland. This year the event took place in the World Sauna Capital Tampere. Over 300 guests from 16 different countries attended the event. The Embassy of Finland in London brought a group of journalists with them.

“The sauna means many things around the world. The Finnish sauna is gaining popularity and it fascinates decision-makers, entrepreneurs, researchers, and media in the wellbeing sector. The international companies now want to take the Finnish sauna experience to their customers anywhere in the world,” says Carita Harju. She is the Executive Manager of Sauna from Finland that organizes the event.

Harju tells that “sauna” is the most used search word related to the tourism in Finland.

“The interest for the importance of the Finnish sauna culture in everyday wellbeing and relaxation has been clearly growing in Great Britain. The private saunas are still a rarity in Great Britain. The public saunas have some room for improvement as well,” says one of the event guests, Pirjo Pellinen. She is the Special Adviser for Culture and Public Diplomacy at the Embassy of Finland.

“Sauna releases same hormones as falling in love”

Media persona and “love doctor” Emilia Vuorisalmi told in her speech that the sauna releases the same hormones as falling in love. Martin R Goldmann, Pioneer of Spa and Wellness Design and Founder of ASPA International stated in his speech that the Finns are sitting on top of a gold mine. He thinks that sauna is the most important part of a spa experience. Harju reveals that sauna for Finnish people is such an ordinary thing that we don’t always remember how exotic and holistic experience it is. People outside of Finland are willing to pay for the experience.

The event introduced companies in the sauna industry as well. The expectations are that international partnerships will come out of the event.

“Our goal is to make the Finnish sauna experience known around the world. We want to build it into a credible export product,” says Harju happily.

Other speakers were Tapio Pajuharju from Harvia, Heikki Riitahuhta from Studio Puisto Group, Raoul Grünstein from Nordic Urban, and Leena Turunen from Lapland Hotels. Maria Markus hosted the event. The event received many thanks from the participants:

“Thank you to all who made the so-called background work for organizing the event. A successful entity.”

“Such an incredibly great atmosphere, lots of first timers who gave nothing but praises! Also, excellent speakers and fantastic efforts from all companies in the sauna market.”

“You know how to arrange world-class events.”

The event was at Lapland Hotels Arena, Tampere on Tuesday June 7th from 10am to 5pm. Additionally, participants got to experience the Finnish sauna in the rooftop saunas of the hotel. The international guests meet sauna influencers and companies in other days and cities as well. Side events happen in Tampere, Helsinki, and Jyväskylä on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday as well.

See the whole programme here.

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