Stewardship and Stereotypes of the Finnish and New Zealanders

Though I live in Canada now, I was not raised here, and only visited every couple of years during the summer. Despite my summer vacations to Canada, when it’s hot as ever, my initial perception of this country was still that it is freezing cold for most of the year. Living here now, I see that there are many more elements to this country other than its being cold.

My idea of Finland, a country that I have never traveled to, is very similar to the one I had in regards to Canada before my migrating here: freezing cold for most of the year. In terms of the tourism industry, I cannot personally say that I have every seen a tourism campaign for Finland, so naturally I don’t consider it an area with a very strong tourism industry. I can imagine however, that someone visiting the country may be interested in doing a lot of winter sports like skiing or snowboarding, along with a lot of nature activities like hiking and ice fishing. In terms of stewardship, it is important for those who have established tourism sites, as well as those who visit the country, to ensure that the facility and the environment are preserved and allowed to survive for a long time so that others may visit.

New Zealand, on the other hand, I can confidently say I actually know nothing about, except that it is very far away. The only thing that comes to mind is camping (I’m really not sure why I thought of this). If this is an accurate perception, then I can imagine tourists who visit New Zealand may be interested in the harshness and ruggedness of the camping life as well as the natural beauty that may come along with it. Assuming that there is camping in New Zealand, then I would have to think that stewardship is also an important value here, since the environment and facility would need to be preserved in order to last.

In the same way that my perceptions of Canada have changed, I’m sure that my perceptions of Finland and New Zealand will change too, if I ever get the chance to travel there. One thing is for sure though, because of my preconceptions of Finland and New Zealand, regardless of how  inaccurate they are, I will probably still be carrying my parka or hiking sneakers, respectively.

3 Responses to “Stewardship and Stereotypes of the Finnish and New Zealanders”

  1. Jessica Taylor says:

    You will be happy to know that camping is a big part of domestic tourism in New Zealand and is also an attraction for international tourists. There are many private owned and Department of Conversation camping sites throughout the country and one of the main appeals of camping in New Zealand is that there are no poisonous animals (such as snakes and spiders) or threatening wildlife (such as bears which is a stereotype I have about camping in Canada). I go camping a lot; the most intrepid so far being a three day trip to a pinnacle in the North Island, however it was more relaxing than harsh. However, there are more extreme hikes, especially in the South Island through mountain ranges etc. and many tourists are attracted to the freedom, adventure and I guess danger of camping/hiking in some areas of New Zealand.

    New Zealand actually has a problem with freedom camping which relates to your comments about preserving our natural environment. This is where tourists have the impression that they can camp anywhere in New Zealand (i.e. not at a designated, controlled camping site with at least basic toilet facilities) which often results in rubbish and waste being left behind. It is a major problem that needs addressing, starting with communicating to tourists where they are and are not allowed to camp and the proper etiquette that must adhere to such as leaving nothing behind after there stay. Is camping a big part of the Canada tourism experience and if so do you have a problem with freedom campers?

  2. Theresa Wong Ken says:

    I am happy to hear that camping is actually part of New Zealand’s tourism; I really had no idea that it was. I’m sorry to hear though, about the freedom camping – that must be a difficult issue for your tourist board to deal with. You would think that the international tourists would do a little research on the country they’re first, in order to figure out where it is they can do what.

    We were discussing in class a few weeks ago, that when you’re visiting somewhere new, you may feel a sense of detachment and carelessness, since it is not your own home or hometown. For some reason, tourists love to see new things and be amazed by beautiful scenery, however they don’t recognize the need to preserve it since it is not a part of their own culture, and may never visit these sites again. Perhaps this is the problem when tourists come to visit New Zealand – it is so far away from home for the tourist, that they don’t care about what they do there. This is really a sad concept.

    Do you know if there is any kind of enforcement for camping in designated areas, or if the tourists are exposed to any of this enforcement? Perhaps (if they have not already done so) the tourist board could implement some campaigns that encourage the tourists to visit the designated camping spots. They could set up information and transportation booths right in the airport, so that the tourists can see it right away. They could also emphasize how important it is to the tourists’ safety that they only camp in the designated areas when they go on a camping trip, and introduce fines for camping in non-designated areas.

    To answer your question, I honestly don’t know whether or not Canada has the problem of freedom campers. So far, I haven’t been struck with the desire to go camping, so my knowledge on the matter is quite limited.

  3. Linda Lindqvist says:

    Hello,

    We are a group of Finnish students from HAAGA-HELIA University of Applied Sciences and we have been studying the stereotypes of Canada, New Zealand and Finnish minorities.

    About your image of Finland; it is true that the winters in here are freezing (right now -17’C and snowing…) but we do have 4 seasons so the summers are warm and even hot (around 30’C) so it’s not Always freezing 😉

    Finland offers many kinds of activities and attractions (in nature or cities) in Lapland (northern Finland) these activities that you mentioned are popular during winter. But in the southern areas there’s usually not enough snow for skiing etc and people usually come here to explore our culture and design. In fact our capital Helsinki is the design capital of the world this year.

    http://wdchelsinki2012.fi/en

    It is very interesting to hear what people think about Finland! 🙂

    Waiting for the summer….

    – Eeva, Jasmin, Johanna and Linda

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