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Case Save Salla – How a Tiny Arctic Municipality Went Mega Viral: Opening Global Conversation on Climate Friendly Destination Development
The "Save Salla" campaign has reached billions of people worldwide. Paula and Erkki will be talking about the aftermath of the viral campaign, how they managed to get locals, local business owners and other stakeholders onboard with the campaign and how they see future of sustainable destination development in the Arctic and in other naturally fragile regions.
Suffering from the consequences of increasingly unpredictable weather and shorter winters, this small town above the Arctic Circle stepped up and called the world’s attention to the problem in a very unlikely way: by proclaiming its bid to host the 2032 Summer Games. The announcement soon prompted reactions from all over the world. The purpose of the announcement, which wasn’t actually a real bid, was a call to the world to help with the ongoing climate crisis.
Salla announced the town was applying for the 2032 summer games. The day after the video was released it was explained that Salla didn’t really want to host the summer games but to draw attention to climate change and its impact. This launched the ‘Save Salla – Save the Planet climate change’ campaign, which has gained the widespread attention of media outlets all around the world.
Why was Salla chosen as the face for such a big campaign? The campaign was initiated by the Brazilian marketing agency – Agencia Africa in cooperation with the Fridays For Future movement launched by Greta Thunberg and the House of Lapland – a joint marketing and communications agency of the Lapland municipal regions. Salla is located in the Arctic region, just north of the Arctic Circle and was selected for the campaign from among several other small localities as a good place for its environment, location and activities.
The climate issue is not just a struggle for individuals or municipalities, but a global issue. The contribution of every single person is needed in the fight against climate change. A change in society, practices and ways of thinking can only be brought about if it involves the majority of the population. Small streams make big rivers.
The municipality of Salla and local businesses are actively communicating their promises of responsible tourism and concrete climate actions.
So far, the campaign has accumulated 7,5 billion views in over 60 countries.
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