How Finland embraced being ‘world’s happiest nation’

For tourism and country-branding chiefs, Finland’s “world’s happiest” title is a blessing they were quick to capitalise on.

Joel Willans, a British digital marketer and creator of the “Very Finnish Problems” social media page, who has lived in Finland since the early 2000s shared, “It’s a really powerful, emotional, evocative thing to say you’re the happiest country in the world. Why would anyone not want to live [here]?”

A happiness marketing drive was led by the travel industry, with Finland’s tourist office appointing ‘happiness ambassadors’ introducing visitors to the secrets of Finnish wellbeing.

Key to the Finnish brand of happiness is going outdoors to enjoy the country’s vast forests and thousands of lakes, and the traditional Finnish steam bath, the sauna.

By the start of 2020, tourism to northern Finland reached record levels and the country was attracting more foreign direct investment projects than anywhere else in the Nordics.

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