We are proud to start publishing posts from our associated partners, who are really important part of this project. First one comes from Finland, from Enontekiö, and Tiina will participate to our first benchmark-journey to Greenland later this year. Enjoy!
I am Tiina Vuontisjärvi, the fourth generation at Hotel Hetan Majatalo. Enontekiö is a wide and sparcely populated municipality in north-west of Finland (about 8400 km2 and 1850 inhabitants) and we live in the main village Enontekiö / Hetta. Behind our hotel it is just tundra until the costal of Norway.
My great grandparents started the accommodation business 95 years ago in 1924. At that time they also had a grocery store, bank and post offices, gas station, telephone center – this was the centre of our village.
In the Second World War / Lappish War almost all the houses were burnt down, also ours. After that my grandparents took the business over and started to re-build everything back to the same place. They built among others the guesthouse for tourists and travelers. At the end of 1980’s my parents wanted to build again and expand the business so they built a hotel which they expanded in 2000. Soon after that my father died and I came back from studying to my home village to help my mother.
For all these decades Majatalo’s main things have been friendliness, personal service, hospitality and continuity of the family’s way of life.
Since my childhood I have been serving Majatalo’s guests and since 2008 the main owner of the hotel, beside my mother. My husband is also part of our business = way of life, luckily. I am 36 years old (having my 37th birthday in Greenland) and my family consists of my dear husband Petri and mother Tuula + all the relatives, god children and friends.
I love to live in Lapland and Enontekiö and I love to continue the work after Majatalo’s previous generations. I am really honoured that I have learnt so much from my grandparents and my parents and am thankful that they have made all their work so well so I can continue in a well-known and successful family company. I respect and cherish the old history and many stories of Majatalo and Enontekiö a lot. My grandfather was a great story teller and I am so happy we have all his stories in written and read by him. During the three decades among other interesting things I have made thousands of pancakes in the wilderness for our guests, guided many groups and read lots of my grandfather’s stories to travelers.
I love to make handicrafts, especially Lappish ones, stay outside, go to the nature / wilderness by walking, hiking, skiing, snowmobiling, quad biking. I would like to do more berry and mushroom (still learning!) picking and fishing both summer and winter but of course the hotel takes a lot of my time. I also love to travel, as often as possible. I love the sun and warm places but I also like winter a lot and I appreciate that in Enontekiö we have eight seasons instead of four. I love to spend time with family and friends and enjoy of good food in restaurants or made by my man. This summer my husband taught me to drive my own motorbike.
I am really excited to go to this benchmarking trip to Greenland and I am so happy that we were chosen to the project. I am sure we all countries have many similarities and I can learn a lot and get many ideas to both Lapland and our familyhotel. I can not wait to meet other participants of this project.
As a hotel we only offer accommodation and meals. We are working closely with the locals and local entrepreneurs like Näkkälä Safaris / Samuli and Taina who are also participating the project. We want that our tourists and travelers can feel the authenticity and genuineness of our area and company and we prefer to have guests who have the same values than us. We would like that they could experience as local experiences and adventures as possible, as sustainably and responsible way as possible, with respect towards our nature, culture and local life. Experiencing the real life and real people is important for the future guests of our area, hopefully.
I wish you a great rest of the autumn / beginning of winter and can not wait to meet you in person!
With kindest regards,
Majatalon 4. polvi, 4th generation at Majatalo