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Tourism and fishing

Artist Akseli Gallen-Kallela’s visits to Paanajärvi fuelled the already awakened interest in Kuusamo’s landscapes.

The growth of winter tourism began when the first ski slopes were cleared in Ruka in 1954. Before that, people had already skied on forested slopes and admired the scenery from the top of Rukatunturi. The year-round and international Rukakeskus Group is one of the leading tourism companies in Finland. The keystone of nature tourism in the nature city is the Oulanka National Park. Kuusamo’s several nature sites and comprehensive routes promote the number and growth of nature tourism and nature wellness companies.

Kuusamo’s wealth of water with its rivers and large lakes create good conditions for fishing.

Fishing was already a significant means of livelihood for the Sámi population of the area. Next to agriculture, fishing developed into the second most important livelihood for the people of Kuusamo. Kuusamo’s vendace “Kitkan Viisas” (“The Wise One of Kitka”) is known throughout Finland. In the 21st century, through product development, refining of fish has developed into a significant industry in Kuusamo.

Kuusamon Uistin (‘fishing lure’) grew into an international brand from the desire of the neighbours, Paavo Korpua and Paavo Putila, to work. It was the 1960s and there was a shortage of work. Founded in 1967, the beginning of the company was modest, but the belief in the cause and know-how was strong. Korpua was an educated clockmaker and Putila was an electrician. The selection of Kuusamo Uistin has about 80 own products, with several size and colour combinations. Kuusamon Uistin manufactures two of Finland’s oldest lure brands, Räsänen seiska and Professori. Räsänen has taken its first forms in Utsjoki and the Professori in Vyborg.