Mån 25 sep / År 41 / Nr 3 2023

Meet and greet with the real Santa Claus in Pajala

In Pajala, it is possible to meet one of the world’s most famous and beloved heroes – Santa Claus. The local entrepreneur Alf Andersson makes sure that Santa Claus is present every season, available to meet with children and adults alike. In addition, visitors are welcome to experience an Arctic winter’s day with real snow.

There is most likely nothing that can top meeting the real Santa Claus. Since 2013, Santa Claus has been present in Santa’s Winter Village (Tomtemagasinet) from the first Sunday of Advent until Christmas Eve. So far, only guests from Great Britain have visited Santa Claus, but Alf Andersson is determined to develop the winning concept towards more target groups.

Everyone wants to meet Santa Claus

Alf has always been an entrepreneur and worked hard to achieve local development. Based on decades of experience and knowledge of what tourists really value and want, he has tailored a unique program at Santa’s Winter Village. The attraction is so popular that many come back to experience it all again. What makes the experience so special?

“Of course, it is Santa Claus himself that the visitors want to meet and that is the highlight”, says Alf. “In addition, they get to experience what is typical of Pajala and the Arctic winter, such as dog sledding, snowmobiling and meeting reindeer for example. Everyone values ​​the experience”.

“I have probably never seen so many happy adults, they become like children again and take that experience home with them. Hopefully they also get to see the Northern Lights during their day-long stay here”, Alf continues.

What was initially conceived as a project has grown into a major tourist destination. Between 12 and 14 full flights arrive at Pajala Airport each season, and the sights are set on Santa’s Winter Village. The only exception is the pandemic year 2020. During 2022 14 fully booked planes with 185 seats each arrived at Pajala Airport, dedicated solely to the experience at Santa’s Winter Village.

Expansion continues

Alf is already looking forward to this year’s season. In collaboration with Pajala Airport he has managed to expand to accommodate 18 planes, that is, another 740 happy tourists who get to meet Santa in 2023, a total of 3330 tourists are planned for this year.

“Bookings have already started pouring in for this season as well, and if we in Pajala had the capacity to receive say 30 planes, I am sure we would still have been fully booked. That is how great the interest is in meeting the real Santa Claus”.

In the long run, the concept of Santa’s Winter Village could develop further and become an international phenomenon, attracting guests not only from the UK but from all over the world.

After expansion in 2022, the local airport already has the capacity to welcome more tourists. Hopefully, people from all over the world will be able to meet and greet Santa Claus in Pajala in the future.