Saunaletter 2016/1

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Dear Members of the International Sauna Association and other Saunafriends

First of all we wish You a Happy New Year including our Chinese members who start their New Year 08.02.2016
I am writing this a little earlier than I was planning because e.g. of the following matter:

Building of a traditional smoke sauna in Estonia

There is happening a training course in Mooste in Southern Estonia
of traditional Estonian log-building by cutting and raising a traditional
smoke sauna in the end of April 2016. In case someone is interested , please contact me or directly the organiser in Estonia.

As You all remeber UNESCO was choosing smoke sauna from Vörumaa Southern Estonia on to the list of Intangible Heritage of Mankind in 2014.

For those who are interested in traditional crafts and smoke sauna culture, there is an excellent opportunity to participate in the  traditional Estonian log-building workshop.

We invite you to learn how the log structures were built in old days only with hand tools. Over the six-day all-inclusive workshop, it is possible to learn traditional Estonian log-building by cutting and raising a traditional smoke sauna (in est. suitsusaun), a small log building that is an iconic form in Estonian vernacular architecture. The workshop is held in the unique baroque manor environment in Mooste, South-Estonia in April 2016. See more

Sauna and sauna travel/tourism

We had in Finland the Nordic Travel Fair end of last week just a little before the big travel exhibitions in Europe. There this time not too much sauna travel from Finland but e.g. from Lithuania and Estonia, yes. And even from US Minnesota state was advertising their Finnish type saunas on the US Booth.

Many people from Far East are using Helsinki as their gateway to Europe or even to US. Finland is now concentrating to get these people to have a stop over here . One option for the stopover is to have a good sauna experience.

The national airline Finnair is also involved. And this means that our Far East Members should be also involved. We do list later some good places in or near Helsinki for your information.

And naturally if You are e member of ISA You can always visit the best possible original Finnish Saunas in Helsinki Vaskiniemi. Please let us know anyway Your schedules in advance. More about the opening times etc. on the Englis web page or also on our own web page

The Minister Toivakka was even mentioning sauna in her opening speech which hopefully means that the authorities finally approve again also sauna as an important option for foreign tourists. I had an opportunity to thank her personally about this. Maybe we can use this contact later .

ISA has been active in sauna tourism long time and e.g. the trips to authentic saunas during the congresses have been an important option for saunalovers to see real good and interesting places.

We have also been giving instructions to the visitors where to go and where to find acceptable saunas. This has been happening also e.g. by inviting the travel journalists and bloggers to good sauna facilities. This was also the case last week when we had some 60 Nordic Travel Bloggers visiting the smoke saunas in Vaskiniemi.

Our list of approved saunas has been in use a long time . Unfortunately that list is quite short and based on our own experiences. We hope to be able to put it also to the web page .

Besides these trips we have been and we are organising sauna visits also in the future not only to the NEW SMOKE SAUNA VILLAGE in Jämsäbut also in different parts of the world.

E.g our member in Africa , Kenya Sauna Society is planning few SAUNA SAFARIS in 2016 including the best game parks and saunas together . I am really waiting for the information from Reijo Hakanen. When I was personally living in Zambia I built two saunas there and they were in active use even if the temperature outside was some 40 – 45 °C.

There is planned also a trip to Aqua-Salon in Moscow in March , Sauna and Spa Expo in Guangzhou in May as well as Interbad in Stuttgart in September. Some of our members are exhibiting in these palces. If you are interested You can get more information from us.

Guangzhou Expo is going to show the new sauna products e.g. from our member Keya Sauna meaning wood fired stoves etc. intended for the international market including Europe.

There is also going to be a sauna seminar where several well known people from the branch are talking about the development and trends.

Because China and Chinese travellers are important for this above mentioned stop over tourism we do introduce Finland as sauna tourism country via our members there.

We were also considering the option to travel to the Finland Village in Japan for the Sauna Day in Japan March 7th 2016 but decided to change the timing to Mid October.

As You know Finland Village is owned by our member Yoneda-san and this means that we can use the village as well as the saunas there very economically. And October shouldm be full of colours in that place near Nagano.

Sauna OK is also organising several sauna trips starting with a trip to Vöru in Estonia in February. These trips one can find by going to the web site of SaunaOK. Please remember that the organiser behind Sauna OK is our Honorary Member Matti Kivinen who certainly knows his sauna destinations.

New members

We have received several applications for new membership from different parts of the world. Especially we are glad about the Mongolian membership as well as additional memberships in China. In China we are expecting few more members during the Expo in May. Especially we are negotiating with the Central Chamber of Commerce as well as with few big sauna operators.

Also Australia is on the list to become a member as soon as their local arrangements are OK.

There is coming soon a separate Saunaletter about the new members joining us in 2015 and 2016 with the web pages etc.

Year 2017

As many of You know 2017 is a VERY important year for us. First of all we are celebrating 60th Anniversary of ISA and 100th Anniversary of Finland as Independet State.

It is also 80th Anniversary of the Finnish Sauna Society and means that we all can celebrate again here in Finland and have some good sauna experiences. We do hear more of those plans later.

We plan also some visits to the countryside and at least do visit the NEW SMOKE SAUNA VILLAGE in JÄMSÄ . Many of You have been visiting the old one in Muurame e.g. during the Congresses 1994 or 2006. The new one should be even more interesting and many of the old saunas should be available for trial. Many of these saunas are older than 100 years.

Because sauna is also an important part of the Finnish culture we do organize several events around sauna in 2017 both in Finland and abroad. The local Finnish Embassies are going to be involved. involved. If You have some ideas for that please do contact the local Finish Embassy or me.

New LÖYLY sauna in Helsinki

We can add a new flagship sauna to the list of public saunas in Helsinki in May 2016. This place is on the southern seaside and has three saunas and a restaurant. One of the saunas is an ORIGINAL FINNISH SMOKE sauna , the two other are wood fired saunas.

We send more information soon and make sure that if You visit Helsinki after the opening we can arrange a visit to that place.

Next Congress in 2018

We have received some preliminary proposals for the place of the XVII Congress. Please let me know if You are interested. We do consider the proposals in our Board Meeting in October 2016.

If You have some questions concerning the Congress arrangements , please contact me. Hoping to all of You the best possible sauna experiences where ever You are!

Risto Elomaa
International Sauna Association