A Frank Idea provides high quality tailored guiding tours in around Rovaniemi with a focus on culture (history, art, architecture) and, if outdoors, on the intersection between culture and nature. I would like to promote non stereotypical cultural attractions and make these sights accessible and interesting to foreign tourists visiting Lapland.

A Frank Idea organizes, among other things, guided tours to Särestöniemi museum, Korundi art museum, the forestry museum, the Aalto center of Rovaniemi and Arktikum. , and I like to guide school groups with children and youngsters. As well I really enjoy facilitating educational exchange programs as well. I guide families with (small) children. I organize accessible tourism. I tailor guided tours to your requests. In summer I organize (midnight sun) hiking tours too. We are not extraordinarily interested to serve so called VIPS.

The ideas in Frank’s work

The personal touch in guide work and tourism is defined by the guides own style, personality and preferences. According to the English Oxford dictionary the adjective ‘Frank’ means: ‘Open, honest, and direct in speech or writing, especially when dealing with unpalatable matters’ or ‘open, sincere, or undisguised.’ According to the Merriam Webster dictionary ‘Frank’ means: ‘marked by free, forthright, and sincere expression.’ I want these traits to characterize me as a person, and I would like to express those values in my work. Therefore I decided to embrace my characteristics and symbolize my name in my company. I use idea in the companies name because I think ideas influence the work I do. I use a different aesthetic and a different language than many other tourism companies working in Lapland, and although we work together sometimes, I feel more comfortable with this – my own – style. Why would I try to do something that others are having much more experience with and are much better at? Why won’t I just be who I am and develop myself, and my own cultural guided tours, in a way that suits me? I find it more interesting to develop other kinds of products than the ones that are readily available already in Rovaniemi and Lapland. You may interpret the words Frank and Idea as well as an undisguised attempt to do things differently in tourism.

snow or no snow? And what else may we expect?

My guided tours are interesting irregardless of the weather or the season. (And to be honest, in summer time it us much more comfortable to move around in Lapland!) When you book a guided tour by A Frank Idea you may expect a small scale guided tour with an intelligent, critical but honest, entertaining, and interested guide – I and my colleagues will be interested in your stories as well – with personality. I guide small amounts of people, but can guide bigger groups if requested. It works best if you are open minded for cultures, arts and histories. Sometimes customers told me they did not expect much from a guided tour with a cultural and historical focus, but expressed they were positively surprised, that it was way more interesting than they had anticipated. Such feedback is a great support for historical and cultural sights, and as well an encouragement for me to highlight other kind of tourism activities in and around Rovaniemi.

I want to offer someting I would buy myself, and I want to do work that I find interesting myself

This is an aim – and realistically speaking, not always possible – but I would like to try to do work that I find interesting myself. I do not want to forget why I found something interesting in the first place, and I try to share this interest with you.

I am quite critical of tourism as phenomenon; consider for example the ecological impact of flying while climate change is becoming increasingly apparent, but as well the mass production of tourism and the experience culture in general. However, since you have decided to visit Rovaniemi or Lapland, I would try to show you something else that I, and many others, find worthwhile to see. And though I am critical of mass tourism, in the mean time I feel honored I meet many people from different parts of the world.

During my studies I focused on social sciences, and after graduation I continue to study philosophy, sociology, political sciences and social work. I follow the news closely and as a sort of hobby I am interested to ponder over, and follow debates about, the interaction on technology and life (and tinker a bit with devices). My interests shape my thinking (and vice versa of course), my thinking resonate in my guided tours. During my studies I have worked in various places (for example in South Africa, Kosovo, Svalbard and many places in between), in very different work settings. Finally, and to my own surprise, I have settled in Rovaniemi. Like many others in this town I have worked as elf and as safari guide, but my next step was to work as a museum guide in Arktikum. After requests and some friendly pushes in my back I started to organize my own guided tours. My work does not aim for mass scale tourism and my guided tours avoid obvious stereotypical imagery and experiences. I like to share some other interesting, but lesser known, sights with you.

picture by Anastasia Berkana

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