About us

About us

Wild Taiga is an association comprising approx. 60 companies in the tourism sector and operating mainly in eastern Kainuu in the area of Suomussalmi and Kuhmo. Most companies operating under the Wild Taiga banner are small, personal artisan entrepreneurs who have collated their local traditions, culture, knowledge and products, to offer visitors the best, unique experiences.

The member companies are, in the main, family businesses. Younger generations are taught the skills of the trade to carry on the traditions and culture. As small business they are dependable on high level of tourist satisfaction with meaningful experiences. As locals they are very aware of the impact tourism can bring to their area and work hard to keep a good balance with the nature, their provider - in all the definition of sustainable tourism.

The association’s mission is to monitor the sector's general and common interests related to professional activities, to promote co-operation between its members and improve the sector's general operating prerequisites.

Entrepreneurs in the association represent a comprehensive range of the region’s tourism offering. Active in the association are hotels, entrepreneurs renting out cottages, restaurants as well as programme service companies. Common to all is utilization of the region’s attraction factors in tourism. The main attraction factors in the eastern Kainuu area are unspoilt nature and the richness of the fauna, the colourful history of the area from the Winter War and the culture enriched by the spirit of the Kalevala.

The financial resources for Wild Taiga’s joint marketing are based on the members’ joint marketing fees as well as the city of Kuhmo’s and municipality of Suomussalmi’s funding to the association.

Further information about the association’s activities are available by contacting info@wildtaiga.com
The company listing you can find here.

Members of the board of directors
Sari Rusanen (chairman): sari.rusanen(at)kuhmofestival.fi, tel. +358 8 652 0936
Veikko Huovinen (deputy chairperson): veikko.huovinen(at)luukku.com
Urpo Heikkinen: urpo(at)upitrek.com
Ari Mäki-Runsas: ari.maki-runsas(at)kiannonkuohut.fi
Kirsi Piirainen: kirsi.piirainen(at)hotellikainuu.com
Markku Määttä: info(at)martinselkonen.fi
Piirainen Urpo: urpo.piirainen(at)erapiira.fi
Ritva Huttunen: ritva.huttunen(at)kuutamokeikat.fi

Wild Taiga Quality

Idän Taiga ry (a local tourism association) launched targeted quality training for companies involved in combined marketing. Wild Taiga Quality training days, led by Haaga-Perho, have been tailored in the Wild Taiga area on the basis of the practically oriented QUALITY 1000 -programme, directed towards the tourist field, and founded on international quality award criteria. The programme included both company quality training and its Quality Network for continuous follow-up, which is the Finnish Tourist Board’s real-time monitoring tool to manage the QUALITY 1000 -process.

The businesses which have undergone the Wild Taiga Quality Start Up training received the Wild Taiga Quality Logo, indicating that the company has invested in the development of its products and services. Also a Wild Taiga Quality Handbook has been adopted for use by the companies involved. This specifies the area’s combined quality criteria and guidelines for monitoring the quality of products and services as well as applying the quality logo on a continuous basis.

Wild Taiga Awards

Wild Taiga has been awarded with many awards during the past years:

2008
* Wild Taiga won the title of Finland’s Emerging Tourist Destination of Excellence in the European Commission's "European Destinations of Excellence" competition.

* The Finnish Guild of Travel Writers chose Wild Taiga as their winning destination in the same competition.

* In the ITB Berlin "Scandinavian Travel Award 2008" competition, Wild Taiga was chosen among the TOP 10 companies in the "Erfolg" series.

2011
* Finnish Champion 2011 in travel marketing - awarded by The Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities.

2015
* Second place in marketing category of Chinese Tourist Welcome Awards awarded by COTRI (Chinese Outbound Tourism Research Institute).

2016
* Wild Taiga was awarded as a Runner-up in Eden Innovation Prize 2016 -competition in Malta.