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The Renewed Siida Sámi Museum and Nature Centre Received 55 000 Exhibition Visitors in the Opening Year

Year 2022 was unpredictable, eventful, and busy, in regards to exhibition visitors in Siida Sámi Museum and Nature Centre, especially in the summer and autumn. According to statistics Sámi Museum and Nature Centre Siida had 55 143 exhibition visitors in 2022, which is close to the all time record.

Events around the world, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, and the war in Ukraine, have affected the number of visitors in Sámi Museum and Nature Centre Siida. Notable about 2022 is also that for the first five months of the year the Siida-building was under renovations and renewal, during which visitors were only able to visit the Sámi Museum’s open-air museum. On the first of June the new joint permanent exhibition of Sámi Museum and Northern Lapland Nature Centre Enâmeh láá mii párnááh – These lands are our children, as well as the temporary exhibitions Oainnus – glimpse into Sámi visual art and Mu áiggis, du báikkis -In My Time, In Your Place, were opened. With the opening of the new main exhibition the number of visitors increased significantly.

Direct comparison, with previous years’ exhibition visitor numbers, is not possible. In 2020 and 2021 the visitor numbers are greatly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, and in 2019 Sámi Museum and Nature Centre Siida had a record breaking number of exhibition visitors (64 000). When compared to 2021, exhibition visitor numbers increased by 102 %. In comparison to the
record-breaking year 2019, there were 14 % less visitors. The busiest time of year was the summer season, as usual, when just in June-September there were 37 000 exhibition visitors, which is almost 70 % of whole years visitors.

Just under half of the exhibition visitors were Finnish, as the post-pandemic revival of international tourism has increased the number of international visitors in Siida Sámi Museum and Nature Centre closer to the pre-pandemic numbers. Most of the international visitors were from France (8,5 %) and Germany (8,4 %). These two nationalities have kept the top two spots for years. German tourists tend to visit more during the summer time, while the French favor the winter season.

The popularity of guided tours increased significantly in 2022, when there were 274 guided tours in six different languages. In the previous year there were just 45 guided tours. The increase is explained by the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, which has led to an increase in popularity of group travel. Guided tours are carried out in the joint main exhibition of Sámi Museum and Nature Centre as well as in the Sámi Museum’s open-air museum.

In the Sámi Museum’s Skolt Sámi Heritage House in Sevettijärvi, there were 635 visitors in 2022. The Heritage House is open only during the summer season and has free entry. The Heritage House and the Open-Air Museum on its grounds contain information on Skolt Sámi history and display the living and construction methods from two different eras.