What makes Finland The Happiest Country in the world? People of Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland answered:
Finland was ranked the happiest country in the world – again for the third year in a row. What makes Finns so happy? In our new blog series, we’re interviewing the people of Rovaniemi – The Official Hometown of Santa Claus®, about their livelihoods and thoughts on what makes a happy life.
Ville Haavikko, CEO & Entrepreneur, Arctic SnowHotel & Glass Igloos
Running a hotel made of snow and ice might not be the most average work you would think of. However, for Ville & Heidi Haavikko, it’s a dream job and everyday life. How did you end up in this line of business?
“In college, I participated in a course about snow- and ice building. The idea behind was more to get easy course credits – but at some point, our teacher pointed out that one could also create a business with this. At that time, we got an idea to start our own company by building a snow hotel.”
Ice chapel. Ever thought about getting married in one? That’s what Heidi & Ville did 11 years ago. “And we’re still together!”
Working as a CEO in this field, every day is different. Mainly Ville’s tasks are around innovating, designing and managing the snow hotel, developing snow- and ice building, as well as doing general caretaker’s duties. Short and a rather hectic reason, combined with a very weather-dependent industry, surely add challenges to the job. Still, Ville couldn’t be happier with his life and work.
“I am really happy. I do have a wonderful family, I get to meet people from different backgrounds, and I have a job where I can fulfill my visions. Generally, I believe that our happiness is based on the basic things that in Finland are rather well: education, health care, safety, pure nature, and equality. I also see my future bright: I will be developing Rovaniemi even more attractive destination via my special expertise.”
In addition to the snow hotel, the venue includes glass igloos, ice restaurant & ice bar, snow saunas, and ice chapel. Ever thought about getting married in one? That’s what Heidi & Ville did 11 years ago. “And we’re still together!” smiles Ville.
Talking about the global situation with COVID-19, Ville wraps up:
“Though we’re in the middle of a very challenging and uncertain era, I wouldn’t come up with any better place than Rovaniemi, to spend time at this stage. Pure nature and wonderful spring season are keeping my mind brisk.”
Age: 36 years
Family: My dear wife & business partner Heidi, and 3 adorable daughters.
Education: Surveying engineer
Hobbies: Fishing, snowmobiling and outdoor life
Favorite place in Rovaniemi: Lehtojärvi (the lake, by which Ville lives with his family.)
In our new blog series, we will be interviewing the people of Rovaniemi – The Official Hometown of Santa Claus®, about their livelihoods and thoughts on what makes a happy life. Ever thougth how it’s like to live and work in Lapland? Stay tuned!