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Home BUSINESSRovaniemi: Mixture of magnificent nature, internationally active city
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Mon, 01 Feb, 2016 03:13:08 AM
In an exclusive interview with Riitta Erola
FTimes Report by Hahn Hoang, Feb 1

The City of Rovaniemi has a new director of development from December 1. Back to the city of Northern Lights after almost 30 years, Riitta Erola is surprised at its rapid development.

In the interview with Finland Times, Erola shares her willingness to contribute to the city’s spirit: Going forward.

Riitta Erola, who was selected the director of development for the City of Rovaniemi on October 12, officially started working as December began. Erola has been in charge of reform management and strategic development.

Riitta Erola, born in Ivalo, has 20 years of experience in directorial positions at different organisations in the public and the private sector. She has been the director of a health clinic and the Asylum Seeker Centre in Oulu.

“Going back to Rovaniemi is an easy choice for me,” Erola said. Having studied, worked and lived in Finland’s north, she treasures the “Northern” feeling of the city. Moreover, she observes the changes of Rovaniemi after 30 years: “It has developed much, become a tempting city a more and more.”

Erola explained that Rovaniemi is a great mixture of magnificent nature and an internationally active city. As the second most international city after Helsinki, Rovaniemi welcomes a large number of tourists coming to enjoy the snow.

Besides, the city is famous as the hometown of Santa Claus and Northern Lights. “Rovaniemi is getting more and more international,” Erola said.

With this special feature, Rovaniemi has the advantage of an international environment which is attractive to development and investment. Besides, Erola sees good locations as assets of the city.

Rovaniemi is the gateway to Lapland which makes connectivity to other parts of the world easy. In addition, fresh air and proper winter are the other strengths of the city.

In terms of future development, Erola hoped that the city would establish more connections and become easily accessible for tourists and investors. Moreover, she advised making the use of the Lapland identity to develop Lapland as a region.

“Rovaniemi, Kemi, Ivalo… Tourists may not remember well names of the cities but they will certainly remember the Lapland identity: exotic nature and culture, friendly people and much more.”

Talking about the plan for the City of Rovaniemi, Erola said that big changes were taking place all over Finland. The reform of social welfare and healthcare is a big change for Rovaniemi as well as other cities in Finland.

The reform is projected to save a lot of money for the government and promote more efficient organization of the public sector.

“We should think about this mega change: What is in store?” Erola said.

As the new director of development, Erola is happy to be able to contribute to the development of Rovaniemi.

“Rovaniemi is a good place to live in”, she said. Moreover, she is glad that the city offers good prospects. “Rovaniemi is bigger than it looks and keeps going forward all the time.”

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