History

“Pette, couldn’t you organize the ski trip next winter?”

This sentence was the beginning of the Elämysmatkat saga. Pette Halme, founder of Elämysmatkat, studied at The Helsinki School of Economics. He and his circle of friends were some of the most active alpinists in Finland. When it came to arranging the student’s bus trip to the Alps, Pette got elected as the organizer.

The first trip turned into an epic adventure tour that was talked about for a long time, in the then small skiing circles. The next year already, several buses set off, and in the years to follow, other student groups from near and far wanted to join in. Even the techies all the way to Turku got excited.

The Elämysmatkat saga had begun. The first trips were to Val Thorens and Chamonix in France, and Verbier in Switzerland. Bit by bit during the start the ‘90s, the demand for the bus tours increased, and by the mid ‘90s Elämysmatkat was already the biggest travel agency in Finland arranging student and youth ski trips to the Alps.

By the new millennium, airplanes replaced the buses, and both passenger numbers and destinations grew year by year. In the early 2000s, Pette Halme was the first Finn to pass the examination for international mountain guide. Elämysmatkat has grown from a travel agency organizing ski trips, into a versatile travel agency, offering the widest variety of activity tours to the mountains of the world. For instance, Elämysmatkat is the only travel agency in Finland currently offering ski tours to Japan, and the only active travel agency organizing heli-ski and snowcat ski tours.

Thousands of Finns have skied down their first powder lines in the Alps with Elämysmatkat, and the majority of our clients are regulars from years past. Many have even found a profession in outdoor sports thanks to Elämysmatkat. The operators currently active in the Finnish freeskiing community have at some point spent seasons in Verbier or Chamonix working for Elämysmatkat; a skiing culture which continues to be nourished and further developed at Elämysmatkat every day.

With the leadingship of Jussi Viskari, who in 2010 joined in as a partner and Managing Director of Elämysmatkat, we have developed a unique service concept aimed at enterprise clients to complement our consumer tours. The group tours tailored for enterprise clients now make up over half of the Elämysmatkat turnover.

In 2012, Elämysmatkat took a record number of clients around the world to sample and enjoy fabulous experiences. Strong growth and constructive feedback from (active) clients helps Elämysmatkat push the saga even further, offering new experiences both to our loyal clients, as well as to new adventure travellers.