Matkalla huipulle

Alumn Newsletter 1/2016

English Summary


Gathering during the spring

Alumni Stories Inspire Students

Jalot Villit, the Student Association of Tourism Research celebrated its 20th anniversary on 13 February 2016. On the same day, an alumni brunch meeting was attended by both the staff and current and former students of tourism research studies. The alumni came to tell to almost 30 participants their own career stories, what their studies had had to offer for working life and what is needed in today’s working life.

The alumni emphasized that you can affect your own career and direct your path for example through the choice of the secondary subject. Your own interest and motivation matter most. Jobs can be changed if needed.
The presentations and discussions gave good ideas for developing the alumni activities and activating the tourism research graduates. The alumni are an important link to working life and through them recognition of tourism research studies can be improved both in Finland and abroad.

Further information on Tourism Research Alumni activities:
Researcher Satu Pekkala, satu.pekkala (at)
University teacher Minni Haanpää, minni.haanpaa (at)

Creative Professionals of the Future – theme of the alumni evening

The Lappish alumni of Hospitality Management and Business Administration came together at an alumni evening for the first time in Tornio on 20 April. The theme of the alumni evening was Creative Professionals of the Future. The aim was to improve networking and discuss digitalisation.

Presentations on digitalisation were held by alumnus Tuomo Lindholm and Kirsi Mikkola from Sähköinen Liiketoiminta Suomi Oy. Julius Öförsagd, designer, producer, actor, politician and director of experiences spoke about dreams, stories and customer experiences.

In autumn there will be another alumni event for both Bachelors of Hospitality Management and Business Administration in Rovaniemi. The aim is to increase the use of experts in both development of education and creating networks. We want to offer our alumni more choices to meet and catch up at various kinds of events.


Career stories

Alumni’s career stories and greetings from working life have also been heard in lectures and seminars. Paula Aspholm, Tourism Coordinator of the Municipality of Salla, visited the MTI on 13 April 2016. She emphasized the importance of extensive work experience that you should start to gather while still at university. ”It is worth seeking jobs and trainee places in the field of tourism when you are still studying. Practical work helps you understand the tourism business better and it gives you a good basis for different tasks in tourism”, Paula Aspholm emphasized in her speech.

Mikko Ilves told about current beverage trends and Anne Pallari presented the conceptualisation of the Restaurant Fransmanni.

More career stories in Finnish here.


Examples of MTI`s cooperation

Cooperation with Tankavaara
MTI’s hospitality management students have created new products to develop the business at Tankavaara Gold Village. The students created five products for Tankavaara as part of Conceptualisation and Quality Management in Tourism and Hospitality studies. They started by visiting the Gold Village in February, and got to learn about Tankavaara, its operations and identity. Together with the entrepreneur the students created preliminary ideas that were then improved and developed with the help of several supervising teachers.

Further information:
Heidi Kaihua, Lapland UAS, heidi.kaihua (at)

Experience Design for the Arctic ThreeHouse Hotel
3rd-year Degree Programme in Tourism students designed experience paths for the Arctic TreeHouse Hotel, the new accommodation concept of SantaPark. The students learnt about designing staged experiences, storytelling, authenticity, offline and online experiences and services as well as how to price the experiences. The ideas were tested in the SINCO Lab in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Lapland. The commissioners from SantaPark, Merja Alaranta and Katri Kerola, were very happy with the results.
More info: Esa Posio (esa.posio(at), Petra Paloniemi (petra.paloniemi(at),

Ranua Living Lab
Ranua Region has offered an excellent learning environment for MTI bachelor and master students during Autumn 2015 and Spring 2016.
Altogether 70 students from the University of Lapland and Lapland UAS have been able to learn about region, product, destination development and marketing by participating in this “Living Lab”.
The commissioner Development Manager Riikka Tuomivaara from Ranua Municipality has been very pleased with the results and our cooperation will continue also in future.
More information: Teija Tekoniemi-Selkälä (Teija.tekoniemi-selkala(at) ,José-Carlos García-Rosell (jose-carlos.garcia-rosell(at),Outi Kähkönen (outi.kahkonen(at), Petra Paloniemi (petra.paloniemi(at) .

Pop Up Thesis Seminar
The Hospitality Management alumni were invited to a Pop Up Thesis Seminar. The 13 theses were development projects for hospitality companies in Lapland. They discussed for example digital marketing, events, welfare at work and managing customer experiences.
All theses and development project are conducted in close cooperation with local companies to develop concrete services and products for the businesses.

Bachelor Thesis as a development tool
Bachelor Thesis in Tourism Research Studies has been a great tool for co-operation and development in the field of tourism in Lapland. This year thesis were commissioned by the Regional Council of Lapland concerning the arctic in the tourism of Lapland region. Thesis were presented in the seminar this spring.

Students successful at competitions

Lapland UAS team won the RESTO 2016 competition
The annual RESTO competition was held for the 15th time in Seinäjoki 17.–18.3.2016. RESTO 2016 was won by the Lapland UAS team Kaamokset Kläpit. The team stood out thanks to skills and true Lappish attitude. Our top competitors were Aino Suominen, Jutta Vaaraniemi, Kati Välikangas and David ”Taavi” Pou Gascón. The team was coached by Senior Lecturers Petra Paloniemi and Heidi Kaihua.

Hospitality management students successful at competition amongst the best European Hotel Management Schools
Pure Arctic Madness, a team of Lapland UAS students competed successfully at EMCup 2016 in Maastricht in February. They came 5th out of more than 30 teams. At the competition the students presented new services and application to the jury consisting of management of international hotel chains. Our team convinced the jury with their website analysis from the viewpoint of senior travelers. They also launched a concrete product, a digital bracelet for contacting the hotel reception effortlessly. Our top competitors were Anna Pälä, Lauri Laikko, Anni Honkanen and Thuy Linh To representing both Finnish and English degree programmes. The team was coached by Senior Lecturers Heidi Kaihua and Petra Paloniemi as well as Johan Edelheim, Director of the MTI.
Great photos and feelings from the EMCup 2016 competition here.

Also the students of Tourism Gollege had a great success in the Taitaja2016 competition. The students of Tourism Gollege won two gold and one silver medal.


MTI at Rovaniemi events

Tourism and hospitality management students and teachers were easy to spot at Lapin Erämessut, Lapland Outdoor Recreation Fair in mid-May. Students from three levels of tourism education took part in the organization of the fair in many ways. For example, the MTI was responsible for the social media marketing, and the fair received a record number of visitors.

In summer the MTI students will help organize RolloPop, a new city music festival in Rovaniemi. RolloPop takes place at the Rovaniemi Central Sports Field Keskuskenttä 29.-30.7.2016.

Lapland Tourism College will offer good food and beverages at the Old Market Square Carnival, Rovaniemen Wanhat Markkinat 19.-21.8.2016. Come and enjoy local food and lumberjack culture at the Restaurant Tukkipoika.


Coming up

In June the Alumni for the year 2016 will be announced

13.10. Valakiat Event in Tornio (transportation from Rovaniemi)
Lapland UAS alumni event on how small enterprises can grow and increase competitiveness with new digital solutions.

18.11. Gala Dinner

Follow MTIn alumnit (MTI’s alumni) Facebook page to get informed of current news and futures events!