RECONNECTING PEOPLE WITH NATURE
In 2018 Retkipaikka confirmed its position as Finland’s most popular travel blog and nature travel media source. By bringing stunning natural destinations to a wider audience, the producers aim to give as many people as possible a reason to head out onto the trails and enjoy nature. Retkipaikka reaches 250 000 Finns each week.
Retkipaikka started out in 2012, when nature enthusiast and photographer, Antti Huttunen noticed that finding new places for day trips in nature was often a challenge. Huttunen started gathering together existing fragments of information into one website that he called Retkipaikka (Places Outdoors, Outdoors Destinations). On the website, places are described through the personal experience of someone who has visited, using plenty of pictures. With the help of a map link, it’s easy for the reader to then find the place themselves. By developing this way of sharing of information, Huttunen wanted to make it easier for ordinary people to head out into nature.
New writers came onboard to make Retkipaikka. One man’s blog gradually grew into a multi-channel media family powered by nature.
Nowadays Retkipaikka is community media. It is produced with heart and soul by over a dozen outdoor travel professionals, writers, photographers and bloggers throughout Finland. Many national operators who work with nature, such as Suomen Latu (The Finnish Outdoor Association) and Metsähallitus (Finland’s Forestry Service) belong to this broad network. As well as the website, readers have access to a mobile phone app, that they can use while out and about to find the nearests sites of interest. They can also use the app to find and even purchase the nearest outdoor-related services, goods and activities. Retkipaikka has also published its own nature-themed books and produced the TV series Metsien Kätkemä (Back to Nature).
Retkipaikka in numbers
- over 2,500 Finnish outdoor destinations covered
- at least one article every day covering a new destination or other outdoor recreation topic
- a million users per year
- 8,5 million read articles per year
- 60,000 mobile phone app users
- 38,600 Facebook likes and 24,300 Facebook group members
- 37,100 Instagram followers, 80,700 pictures tagged with #retkipaikka
- over 650,000 viewers for each Metsien Kätkemä (Back to Nature) TV episode in the first season.
Retkipaikka Location Database
- over 2000 published articles (on the website and app)
- 100 articles published by others
- locations suggested by users
- All of Metsähallitus’s (Finnish Forestry Service) route data
- Lomarengas’s (private vacation cabin rental broker) cabins
- over 45,000 places in total
The typical Retkipaikka reader is a 25-45 year old woman with a family, who lives in the city. Our readers are active people, who are interested in physical activity, nature, wellbeing, food, history and domestic travel.
- 61% are women, 39% are men
- 28.9% are 25-34 yrs old, 26.7% are 35-44 yrs old
- 59.7% are phone users, 28.5% desktop users, 12% tablet users
- 36% say that in the past year they have been to a location, inspired by Retkipaikka content
- 89% intend to visit a location, that they have read about on Retkipaikka.
FORMS OF COLLABORATION
Retkipaikka also offers nature travel and travel marketing expertise. Our customers are different travel companies and public tourism organisations. The industry’s widest variety of expertise can be found amongst our contributor team. References are available on request:
- content collaboration; routes and area coverage
- photography and video production
- route and area guides specifically for mobile phones
- digital and marketing strategies
- training and consultancy
- product creation and packaging of services
- online store expertise
- influencer and themed campaigns
- loan of the Retkipaikka brand
- ‘Retkipaikka recommends’
- Social media services and upkeep
CASE: PAAVOLA’S OAK TREE
STEP 1: GOALS
- Test Retkipaikka’s strength as a communication channel
- Find new reasons to travel to Lohja and communicate this with pictures
- Produce picture content for Lohja’s tourism operators
STEP 2: ACTION
Starting situation and action taken 2014:
- The tree was only casually mentioned in a sentence on Lohja’s website
- We made a 6 article series on Retkipaikka; the client bought the photos
- We went to the location to experience it first-hand and published a post about it
- We put sufficient clickbait in the title
- Distribution was through our own social media channels (Facebook and Instagram), published at optimal viewing times.
- 5 articles appeared in different media; radio and TV interviews
- more people went out into nature
- the tree started to live a life of its own in social media
- the article became a long-standing hit
- the tree became part of Retkipaikka’s story:
- was on the cover of Retkipaikka’s book
- was featured in the ’Back to Nature’ TV series
- more articles appeared
SITUATION IN 2018
- original post read over 145,000 times
- 2,156 #paavolantammi tagged photos on instagram
- one of Lohja’s most important places of interest
- in the summer of 2016, there were up to 400 visitors per day
- international visibility via the band Sonata Arctica’s music video for their song ‘Life’
- Lohja’s travel income has grown by 36%
- a reason to come to Lohja and then visit other places of interest in the area
Nature is the source of life and wellbeing. Nowadays we are guests in nature and should behave in the appropriate way.
We want people to have a meaningful experience in nature, develop their relationship with nature and consequently be motivated to protect something that has become of immense value to them.
We respect nature by leaving no trace when visiting, as well as by honouring rules and codes of behaviour. We want to show a good example to all those heading out into nature.
The wellbeing of people is important to us. People are not contrary to nature, but part of it.
We want to lower the threshold for every person to head out into nature. By facilitating people’s relationship with nature and by strengthening it, we believe that nature will become a significant part of more people’s wellbeing.
We feel that we need new ways to find economical value from nature other than as a source of raw materials. We want to promote and help develop sustainable domestic travel.
From nature we enjoy all that is granted by Everyman’s Rights, yet also respect our obligations under Everyman’s Rights. This way we ensure the wellbeing of nature through our own sustainable behaviour and at the same time support Finland’s Everyman’s Rights arrangement.
Retkipaikka’s contributors do what they love. They write about places that they themselves have fallen for. And the Retkipaikka team loves nature.
BACK TO NATURE
BACK TO NATURE (METSIEN KÄTKEMÄ)
Retkipaikka’s series Back to Nature is a 9-part journey through Finland.
Back to Nature takes viewers into Finnish nature to witness beautiful, awe-inspiring places that stir the imagination. The cinematic story style presents Finnish nature in a new way, taking the viewer through a purple sea of heather to the outer archipelago of Åland in the spring and then up to the north to witness the blazing colours of arctic autumn.
In each episode we journey to a particular region, exploring its most interesting areas of natural beauty and diving into the mythology that surrounds them. Along the way we come across the people whose fates are intertwined with theses places and discover ancient tales.
The series is presented by mythology enthusiast Reetta Ranta along with her guide, Retkipaikka’s Antti Huttunen. The first series was watched by 650,000 viewers per episode. The new series will come onto Finnish television screens in autumn 2018.
Foodtrip’s idea is to tell the consumer about interesting restaurants, unique cafes, different food-related events and local producers, who are all united by a love of local food.
The visually appealing and appetite-whetting website helps the consumer find new local delicacies and offers a channel for local food producers to introduce themselves.
Foodtrip’s content is produced by a national network of bloggers interested in local food and food tourism.
Retkipaikka’s English-language sister site, Finland Naturally, brings Finland to the world through individual experiences.
Finland, naturally offers the best of Retkipaikka (Places Outdoors) and Ruokaretki (Foodtrip) content, enhanced with new articles written specifically for English-language readers.
Using an appealing visual style and personal stories, the website invites the reader to explore Finnish nature travel destinations and discover Finland’s different phenomena, whether it’s silence, purity, the northern lights, the changes of the seasons, sauna or other local habits and traditions.