Unusually Warm Weather Stops Tourists From Visiting Santa’s Hometown
By Sharelle Burt
Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas, but not in Finland. Temperatures in Santa’s hometown of Lapland have been unusually high, causing only a few centimeters of snowfall.
Santa Claus Village, in the capital city of Rovaniemi, usually gets 20 to 30 centimeters of snow by the end of November and is covered in snow for almost half the year. With the village being a tourist hotspot, there are concerns that the weather may cause a decrease in the number of visitors during the annual “Santa season.” Several British tours and flights have been canceled, offering refunds or alternative dates to visit.
Tour groups like Transun and TUI have canceled excursions. TUI was hosting a trip to SnowVillage, a hotel made completely of ice. The warm weather has even delayed construction on the hotel. Excursions to SnowVillage have been canceled. Transun had two trips planned to an area north of Rovaniemi but had to offer customers refunds. “It has been unseasonably warm in Lapland recently and there has been limited snowfall,” the tour group said. “We have therefore canceled our first two departures of the winter and offered affected passengers alternative dates later in December at no additional cost. If the alternative dates were not suitable, we have offered a full refund.” Tourists have even documented their frustrations on social media. “How do you explain to an 8-year-old that you are going to see Santa in the North Pole but there won’t be any snow,” one visitor said. “It just won’t be as magical as we were expecting.”
A meteorologist at the Finnish Meteorological Institute predicted there will be less snow as time progresses. “Depending on the projected scenarios, it’s expected that by the end of the century there will be much less snow, and in fewer places, in Lapland,” Ville Siiskonen said. But the Institute did over a little bit of good news. Lower temperatures and snowfall are expected to come over the next ten days.