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Finland is considered one of the most popular and most affordable areas of foreign tourism destinations. Of course, this is determined primarily by the territorial proximity and the richest possibilities for recreation and shopping, which provides the country of Suomi. Well, we think that professionalism and friendly attitude, who are faced by Petersburgers, who appeal to the Consulate General of Finland in St. Petersburg are played here.

Correspondent "Wanderer" Talking with the Consul General of Finland Osmo Lipponen.

– When a person acquires a tour in a travel company, all the concerns associated with the design of a visa takes a travel agency. And how to get a visa to a person who wants to rest or travel in Finland independently, without resorting to mediation by travel agency?

– Very simple: come to our visa department on. Chernyshevsky, 17, having two photos with me, as well as 100 Finnish brands to pay consular and fill out the questionnaire. The whole procedure takes a few minutes. We significantly increased the number of employees of the department, and the size of the premises is that people usually do not have to stand outside. Even in the midst of the tourist season in the queue will have to spend no more than 10 minutes.

– And the invitation is needed?

– Ordinary tourist – no. When it comes to a businessman who wants to get a multiple visa, he really needs to submit documents confirming the need for such a visa.

– Do you have to refuse a visa?

– Yes, but the number of failures is 1-2 percent of the number of issued visas. As a rule, the reason is purely technical: the questionnaire is incorrectly filled out, the passport is expired. There are cases when fake invitations bring us, – according to Finnish laws, this is a rather serious violation.

– And that threatens to the violator? Will he ever get a Finnish visa or permanently falls into "Black lists"?

– Each case is considered individually. But in general, from the point of view of international norms, our attitude to violators can not be called too strict, nor too liberal.

– How the locals react to the ever-increasing number of ours in large and small cities of Finland?

– our tourists in Finland desirable guests – they behave very well, spend a lot of money, require good service, buy expensive goods. Petersburg women are especially characterized by the fact that only the most fashionable and elegant outfits are asked in stores. Considering this, some Helsinki enterprises were forced to improve the quality of their goods.

– The pages of Finnish newspapers from time to time there are materials on the non-aggative behavior of some ours in Finland.

– The volume of tourism from Russia is so great that it happens different. Horseshell a back of the main problem were minor tools in stores.What is already in the past. Now the main problem is the road behavior. our motorists in Finland often become the cause of road traffic accidents. Road discipline and culture of behavior on the roads from our countries are very different. As for the information that some women-tourist women from Russia are engaged in Prostitution in Finland, these cases are single and on the pages of the newspapers they sometimes are given a disproportionate place. This is due primarily to the fact that for Finland, prostitution – the phenomenon is atypical, and if in a big city it can pass unnoticed, then in small towns, with their closed, well-established MirCom, such cases immediately attract universal attention. In general, the attitude to the our is the most friendly. Those who work in the turbines, appreciate our tourists. It is characteristic that many employees of the service sector actively teach our.

– What regions of Finland, according to your observations, most often run Petersburgers?

– Statistics shows that 60-70 percent of St. Petersburgers are more willing to go to Helsinki and its satellite cities, then the border cities follow. Recently, ours begin to master Lapland and Lake Edge. I hope that residents of St. Petersburg, most people cultural and educated people, will be the first to go away from the stereotype that Finland is primarily a great place to make purchases, and will begin to be more interested in the culture of our country, will come to Finland on numerous international theatrical and musical Festivals, take advantage of the opportunity to relax on Syme, will open our magnificent ski centers for yourself. Our country has such extensive and variety of opportunities for recreation that one trip will be clearly not enough. With Finland you need to meet gradually.

– And where they prefer to spend free time Finn?

– First of all in Finland. Note that most Finns are citizens in the first second generation, they have not yet broken away from their roots. Many many have summer houses, cottages, farms, rural estates. And these estates Finns try not to crush. If in the family there are several children, then the house and the land adjacent to it are not divided between all the heirs, and they decide on the family council who will be the owner. As a rule, the choice falls on the one who is closer to the ground, who has the skills of processing the Earth, the rest has to look for a job outside the native village. But they do not break the links with native places and usually build somewhere nearby their summer houses in which they are happy to spend all their free time.Those who have no cottage can relax in some old estate that has been turned into a hotel, and spend your vacation in the village, in the air, doing horse riding, catching fish and collecting mushrooms and berries. Very popular in Finland and this option of rest when the whole family goes for a couple of days to a place where there is some leisure center, say, water park or ski center, and stop in the hotel. This is a great opportunity to distract from everyday life for a few days.

– What region in Finland themselves, the Finns themselves consider the best holiday destination?

– Finn always wants to be near the water. Therefore, we have a special popularity of the Siemena Lakes area, the Northern Lake Edge. In South Finland – is the area of ​​the islands. Archipelago off the coast of Finland, consisting of a dozen thousands of islands, – the place is completely unique. Often talk about the Greek Islands, but their territory is much less.

– And what is the case with foreign tourism?

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– Of course, the Finns are pleased to go to the southern seas. We and small cruises in the Baltic Sea, especially on the ferries departing from Helsinki to Tallinn and Stockholm. These ferries are luxurious modern floating hotels and their qualities are the best in the world.

– Another role in the popularity of these cruises is also played by duty-free trade on board ferries?

– Yes, but here the situation will soon change. At the request of the European Union by the year 2000, on ferries, cruising between Finland and Sweden, Duty Free shops must be closed. I am afraid that this is fraught with serious problems for shipping companies: experts calculated that the volume of traffic will immediately decrease by two times. And ticket prices will have to raise twice as, naturally, will make these cruises much less attractive.

– In your list of places, where the Finns are eagerly driving, is missing Petersburg.

– Yes, you need to admit that the number of Finnish tourists in St. Petersburg in recent years has declined sharply. Cause? In St. Petersburg, rest was very expensive. Package for a tourist trip to some southern country – Turkey, Spain, Portugal – costs cheaper than the same package of services in St. Petersburg. Naturally, such a situation does not contribute to the development of mass tourism.

– Traditional for the newspaper "Wanderer" Q: Where do you prefer to smooth your free time?

– Basically on hockey sites.

– You hockey fan?

– Hop, hockey player. And last two years I play the team of veterans of the St. Petersburg SKA. In early June, I performed in a match in Florida, not further as at the end of August I took part in the match between the SKA teams – veterans and young players. The team of veterans was three players who were already 50 years old, and I am pleased to tell you what we won. And last training I had yesterday.

– Does the skills of the game hockey help your diplomatic work?

– Diplomats often live in an isolated world, in contact with the usual life. And hockey – democratic game. Around hockey always many people – coaches, doctors, fans. I would say so: hockey makes my life more complete.

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