Central Finland Sauna Region of the World concept contains webpages, annual Sauna Region Weeks, Sauna packages for tourists and online map of the Sauna Region.
Five reasons why Central Finland is the Sauna Region of the World:
1. Central Finland is the Heart of Sauna Industry
2. The Biggest Smoke Sauna & Many House Boats
3. The Sauna Village in Jämsä preserves sauna culture
4. Amazing Sauna Services
5. The Sauna Region Week
Sauna is an essential part of Finnish culture. Central Finland, located in the Lakeland, has spectacular places to dive into the sauna culture.
Before 2016 the information of Central Finland’s saunas was fragmented and not easily found by tourists. Most of the saunas are private and not open for public. Sauna Region of the World concept was developed to bring forth entrepreneurs with sauna services in order to ease the findability and marketing of their services. The concept's target groups are both national and international tourists. During Sauna Region week, many private saunas are open for visitors.
The concept contains Sauna Region webpages in Finnish and in English, annual international Sauna Region Weeks, Sauna packages for tourists and online sauna map. International marketing of the concept has been efficient.
Main stakeholders are the City of Jyväskylä/Visit Jyväskylä, Regional Council of Central Finland, holiday centres and entrepreneurs with sauna services. Main beneficiaries are national and international tourists (saunalovers) and entrepreneurs with sauna services, local NGO’s that are participating and organizing events for Sauna Region week and preserving and developing sauna culture.

Resources needed

Set up: 1 Webpage- and 4 online map designers, Project manager, Marketing manager, Communications manager. Funding 25900€ total: 129500€ Regional Development Fund, 28000€ municipalities, 27500€ private companies. Running: Project manager, Project assistant, contribution of local companies and NGO´s.

Evidence of success

Concept is based on strong local sauna heritage and culture. It provides visibility for sauna entrepreneurs in the region. All sauna services can be found on one webpage. There are now 67 sauna locations on Sauna map and the amount is increasing. Sauna Region Week 2018 offered experiences for 1900 visitors in 65 saunas. 2019 there were 3000 visitors from all over the world and 76 experiences. Number of participating companies has increased every year. Sauna knowledge has spread internationally.

Potential for learning or transfer

Successful concept in providing visibility for local culture and nature -based thematic entrepreneurs in the region. All the information related to thematic services in the region can be found on one webpage and in an online map service. Successful public-private co-operation, providing extra value and strong brand for the region and for the stakeholders.
Main transferable activities and features: Map service of local attractions and a model of public-private co-operation in creating services under one strong brand.
Conditions required for the practice to be developed in other contexts:
The brand should be easily identified and genuine and amount of the attractions should be wide enough in order to make the service functional.

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Main institution
The City of Jyväskylä / Visit Jyväskylä
Länsi-Suomi, Finland (Suomi)
Start Date
January 2016
End Date


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Good Practices being followed by

Manuel Heinrich

Regionalmanagement Mittelhessen GmbH