The Council of Oulu region acts as a regional authority in travelling and tourism industry. It serves as a mediating organization between different actors in the line of business (Ministry of Trade and industry, Finnish Tourist Board, municipal travelling organizations, tourism centres).
The Council´s work on behalf of tourism industry is based on Tourism Strategy 20062013 in Oulu region (only in Finnish) which emphasizes the importance of the four most important tourist centres, Ruka, Iso-Syöte, Hiekkasärkät and the city of Oulu. The Strategy also points out the need to promote the importance of tourism at the regional level in order to have it better acknowledged and represented in decision making organisations and significant projects.
The four most important areas for tourism in Oulu Region are Ruka (Kuusamo), Iso-Syöte (Pudasjärvi), Hiekkasärkät (Kalajoki) and the City of Oulu. The services and target groups of these areas and their resorts are all different from each other, ranging from unique winter sport experiences to relaxed summer activities.
Sphere of influence of the four tourism centres is extensive; the positive effect of the development of Ruka Area is felt as well in the tourism enterprises in the neighbouring areas as in the city of Kuusamo. This is exactly the idea within Tourism Strategy 20062013: Supporting the already existing tourist attractions and areas of concentrated travelling industry will lead to sustained growth and spread the emerging benefits all over the region.
Regional Tourism Strategy also emphasizes the importance of cultural and natural heritage. It seeks to popularize region´s historical and cultural attractions, make them better known and so promote the rise of cultural tourism.
The tourism centres and attractions in their sphere of influence :
Ruka- Kuusamo (Kuusamo Lapland)
- Ruka Area
- Oulanka National Park
- Hossa Hiking Area
- Kylmäluoma Hiking Area
- Paanajärvi National Park
- Kierikki Stone Age Center
- Kiiminkijoki, Koiteli
- Town of Raahe
- Liminganlahti, Bay of Liminka
- Oulujoki -river
- Virpiniemi Leisure Center
- Iso-Syöte fell area
- Syöte National Park
- Iijoki -river
- Rahja Archipelago and Port
- Kalla Islets
Miscellaneous travelling industry links:
- Ministry of Trade and Industry
- Finnish Tourist Board
- Association of Tourism Organisations in Finland
- Finland Online Travel Guide
- European Travel Comission
- World Tourism Oranization
- Tourism Offices Worldwide Directory
Figures of travelling in Oulu Region:
Impact of tourism on the income of Oulu region in year 2002 was EUR 511 million. The impact on income is expected to total EUR 767 million in year 2013.
Total of 6 410 persons were employed by tourism in Oulu region year 2002. The employment of the tourism industry is expected to rise up to 8 345 persons by year 2013.
Total registered over nights in Oulu region in year 2005 was 1 300 248, of which the share of overseas tourists was 14, 5 %. Total registered over nights are expected to total 1 754 500 in year 2013, of which the share of overseas tourists will be 18,5 %.