Just beneath the Arctic Circle in Rovaniemi, Finland, Santa Claus and his elves are feeling particularly joyful. Not because it’s almost Christmas at their cavern in SantaPark, but because this once-troubled amusement park now welcomes thousands of visitors daily as a far more impressive theme park and is producing double-digit annual revenue growth.
Katja Ikäheimo-Länkinen and her husband, Ilkka Länkinen, acquired the park from the Finnish government and city of Rovaniemi in 2009, when it was operating at a $500,000 loss. “There was no local Christmas spirit, no magic,” says Ikäheimo-Länkinen, who notes that the park’s main attractions were carousel rides and souvenir shops.
With a little money and lots of ideas, “we wanted to create a perfect fairytale Christmas dreamland that both tourists and travel agents would fall in love with,” she says.
The couple spent five years overseeing the reconstruction of SantaPark, taking down the rides and trinket shops and creating a theme park where families and friends participate in Christmas activities. Among them: Sending greeting cards from the Elf post office; decorating cookies in Mrs. Gingerbread bakery; and learning essential skills in the Elf School. Guests can also spot Santa in his office as he pores over lists of who’s naughty and nice, reviews maps, and tests navigational equipment to plot the next gift-delivery route.
Find out how SantaPark is using Oracle Hospitality Simphony Cloud and Oracle Hospitality OPERA Cloud to manage its rapid growth—revenue was up 67% in its 2017-18 fiscal year and is on track to rise at least 33% in 2019.