Many people believe that Santa Claus (or joulupukki in Finnish) comes from Lapland. Santa Claus Village is built to be the home of Santa Claus. Santa Claus village is the most popular tourist destination in Finland with thousands of tourist visiting it every year. The majority of tourists are coming from United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, France,Republic of Ireland, China, Japan, India and other countries.
In recent years there have been a significant increase in tourists from the Americas, though tourists from the United States are responsible for only 4.7% (2005) of total tourist visits. In North American culture, Santa Claus lives in the North Pole, though North Pole is in the middle of the Arctic Ocean and there is no land, although the ice is thick enough to walk on during the winter making it feasible for Santa to live there. This opinion is widespread in the world and reflected in many feature film and advertisements about Christmas. In majority of European cultures the exact location of Santa Claus residence is not specified. The Santa Claus Village in the Arctic Circle is the main world-wide recognized Santa Claus residenceШаблон:Fact.
Location and transportation
Santa Claus Village is located about 8 km northeast of Rovaniemi and about 2 km from Rovaniemi Airport. In the Christmas time the amount of daily flights triples. The majority of international tourist switch their plane in Helsinki-Vantaa airport. The timetable is set up in such a way that delay between the flights is no longer than 3 hours. Also in the Christmas time there are many charter flights from Sweden, UK and other countries that fly directly to Rovaniemi. Also there is Ryanair flights to Tampere which also has regular connection to Rovaniemi. There is also a regular bus and train connection with all major cities in Finland.
Rovaniemi city bus route 8 travels between Rovaniemi Railway Station and Santa Claus Village. The bus trip takes about 30 minutes.
Eleanor Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt's wife, visited Rovaniemi in 1950 and she was the first official tourist to the area . A small cabin was built in her honour. The Roosevelt Cabin is still there next to Santa Claus Post Office.
Santa Claus Village featured in the first episode of the 1991 BBC television travel series Pole to Pole, presented by Michael Palin.
The Arctic Circle cuts right through Santa Claus Village. A white line denoting the Arctic Circle is painted across the park. Visitors officially enter the Arctic area when they cross the line. The line is a very popular photo spot for visitors. line ]]
Santa Claus Post Office
A large variety of Christmas related items, Christmas cards and CDs are being sold in the post office. All mails being sent from this post office are postmarked with a special Santa Claus postmark. Visitors can also specify their mails to be sent at the next Christmas, regardless of when they actually visit the post office and send their mails.
Santa Claus's Office
A Santa Claus's Office is located inside the main building of the Village, for visitors to take photographs and chat with the Santa Claus. However, there is an "office hour" for the Santa Claus and he may not be in the office all the time even when the Village is open.
There are also many shops and restaurants inside the park selling a variety of items related to Santa Claus and the Lapland region. A Swarovski shop is located in the main building in the Village. (see Details of attractions in Santa Claus Village)
The Santa Claus Park that is connected to the Santa Claus Village was in 2007 Awarded by Topworld International and placed as the second best Travel Adventure in Finland. So long in 2008, it still holds second position after Topworld invited Travelers to vote for their own Top 10 list over Adventures.