Welcome to Finland - the happiest country in the world!

Hello, I am Ulla-Maija. Here you see me addressing my distinguished clients in one the most precious academic places in the Nordic countries: The dais in the University of Helsinki from 1814. During the Covid-19 times we keep safe distances here.


I am a tourism professional with an academic degree in creative writing and tourism. I am an authorized Helsinki and Finland guide and I write, I am especially interested about cultural history. I love to give my guests an opportunity to learn more about Finland and the Finnish lifestyle and history.


Finland is not for everybody but perhaps it is for you? 

The Finns have been nominated by The United Nations as the happiest nation in the world already three years in a row.

I was asked: "How does it feel?"

And I answered: "Well, nothing special, really, we are ok."  

And this is perhaps describing our way of life here. We just want everything to function well for everybody, everyday, and we like the everyday life.

A crown of new birch leaves in early summer.

We live close to the nature - also in the capital Helsinki. The biggest conflicts here are caused if the access to the forest or to the lakes or to the sea are somehow restricted. All people whether residing in Finland or just visiting have the right to enjoy nature anywhere in the Finnish countryside regardless of land ownership. More information: "everyman´s rights". 

We are only 5,5 million people and we have more than 3 million saunas - more than cars.

We have all the ancient culture and nature combined with high technology, democracy, equality between sexes and inside the structures of the society.

We pay a lot of taxes and keep on complaining about it, but refuse, however, to give away all the services the society is providing for us and vote for the politicians who make us pay the taxes.

Finns love the libraries. In 2017 the public library was visited 50 million times. Here is the 2nd floor of the National Library Rotunda.

The free education is the core of the society. This strategy was embraced already in the mid 19th century when the intellectual elite in Finland, then speaking Swedish under autonomic Russian rule, realised that Finns are too few to achieve anything by force but instead the education would be the only way to develop the nation. And then later education and designating Finnish as a national language and accepting also women as equal actors in the society the country could declare independence. And fight for it.

So far we have afforded this way of life, provided that the world market would be ready to buy our highly developed products and services. And we keep on working.

My services for the guests of Finland are guidings and special travel program designing. 

For the tourism professionals I am providing program designing, promotion and lecturing. Here is a link to my blog: Finland - Not for everybody

Relaxing in the nature makes you  think.

I believe in sustainability in having fun. Fly less, stay longer and have a bigger fun. By allowing oneself to really relax and listen and rest one is sustainable for one´s own mind and body.

The best fun is when you do good to yourself and to the others and to the nature.  My passion, as for most of us Finns, is the nature and the wide variety of plants and fungi but also our stories and our vast mythology. 

On my Urban and Nature tours I would like to introduce to you Helsinki and it´s rocky beaches and forests with multiple stories from our ancient heritage.

Curriculum vitae

I am a tourism professional with an academic degree in creative writing and tourism. I have written several books, one of them is about the culture of bathing and the sauna. Please join on my Sauna Tour - you will love it. My services have had a mentioning and recommendation in the Lonely Planet Culture Tours -book (2017).

Lonely Planet Culture Trails has included and recommended my sauna guidings.

Name: Ulla-Maija Rouhiainen BA, Authorised tourist guide, International Travel Consultant, Author, Lecturer

Address: Kaivonkatsojantie 5 B 24, 00980 Helsinki, Finland
Telephone: +358-40-5879869
email: ulla-maija.rouhiainen (at) ullistravelstudio.fi



Ullis Travel studio. Travel Professional for more than 45 years. Tour and Travel Marketing Designer and an Authorised Guide in Helsinki and Finland.

Urban and Nature Programs in Helsinki and in Finland

Special Sauna Programs

Programs in Suomenlinna Fortress Islands and Vallisaari Island

Programs in Hietaniemi Cemetery, Culture, Political and  Military history. History of the Finnish women.

Culture Tours of Finland. Literature, Stories and Education. Oodi and other libraries, National Archive, the Kalevala, modern culture and design.

Seurasaari Island and Outdoors Museum, Helsinki Winter Garden, Nuuksio National Park, Uutela and Kallvik Nature Parks in Helsinki.

Excursions to Porvoo and Tuusulanjärvi region and many other destinations in Southern and Central Finland. Savonlinna and Lake Saimaa Region.

Extensions to the rest of Finland: Lakeland, Lapland, Uusimaa Region.

Author. Several non-fiction books and texts of culture, tourism and travel

Senior Lecturer in Business Management and Tourism

Working experience :

Freelancer and entrepreneur in tourism since 1991. Tour operating, marketing, sales, tour design, guiding and educational consultations and projects in Finland and abroad.

Perho College (former Helmi College), Helsinki. Senior Lecturer in Tourism and Cultural History 1.1.2014 – 1.8.2017. Retired.

Edupoli, Adult Education Centre, Helsinki, Trainer in Entrepreneurship and Management, 2010-11

Adulta, Adult Education Centre, Helsinki, Trainer in Tourism programs services and guiding, 2007-2009

Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences (Helsinki Business Polytechnic, Helia Porvoo-Borgå), Lecturer in Tourism and in Cultural History 2004 - 2010

Posintra Oy, Porvoo, Project Manager in Tourism 19.9.2002 – 30.10.2004

Trientalis europaea Oy - Travel Consulting – Managing Director 1991 – 2002

Friendship Tours, Helsinki, Marketing Director 88-91

Heli´s Travel Agency, Jyväskylä, Special Tours Manager, Marketing Manager 84-88

Itä-Suomi Travel Agency, Joensuu, Managing Director 83-84

Joensuu Travel Agency, Joensuu, Production Manager 82

Olympia Air Travel, Helsinki, Deputy Production Manager of Long haul tours 79-81

Matka Rasila Travel Agency, Helsinki, Travel Consultant, 76-79

Travel Agency Matkarengas, Helsinki, Booking clerk 75-76

The Library of the Municipality of Savonranta, Librarian 72-75

Puruvesi, local newspaper, Punkaharju, journalist and local correspondent 71-72

Other work experience:

Helmi Business College, Helsinki, Senior Lecturer in tourism, 2010 – still lecturer on courses

Laurea University of Applied Sciences, Kerava, Senior Lecturer in tourism 2010 - 2012

Omnia Adult Education Centre, Lecturer in Tourism, 1.8.2009 - 2012

Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, Senior Lecturer in Tourism, Author of learning and tutorial material since 1.8.2009 - 2010

An Authorized Helsinki-guide, including the Metropolitan area (Tuusulanjärvi, Porvoo, Uusimaa Region). Special interest programs, sauna programs. Theme programs of Finland.

Ulla-Maija Rouhiainen Consulting tmi, Ullis Travel Studio - private company since 2003 

University of Joensuu, Savonlinna, Project Manager in Tourism 6/1999- 5/2000

Utbildning NORD, Övertorneå, Sweden. Teacher in Tourism. Three courses, duration of four weeks, teaching in Swedish and in Finnish languages 1992-1993

Karjalainen Newspaper, Joensuu, Local Correspondent and Literary Rewier 74-75

Kääpäsaari Holiday Village, Savonranta, Sales Secretary and Guide 73-75

Itä-Savo newspaper, Savonlinna, Local Correspondent 72-74


BA, Bachelor of Arts in Creative writing and Tourism, University of Jyväskylä 2010

Suomenlinna and Vallisaari Authorized guide 2017

Special Travel guide Examination, 2016 Helmi College

Special Travel guide Examination for FAM-clients, 2014 Helmi College

Travel Guide Vocational Examination, Adulta, 2009

Wilderness guide. Courses. Hyria, 2010 -11

PD, Professional Development in Tourism Program, 2005. University of Joensuu

Cum laude in Tourism 2006. Finnish University Network for Tourism Studies, Savonlinna

Nature Tourism program, University of Joensuu, 1993-94

IATA-UFTAA Diploma in Travel and Tourism, Geneva 1979, Grade Excellent

Several programs and seminars of international tourism and air traffic in Finland, Germany and in The United States by Finnair, Lufthansa, Pan Am, ship companies, tour operators, tourism organizations f.eg. ASTA, UFTAA since 1975

Specialist in Competence Based Qualifications

Other education:

Towards Multicultural Pedagogy, course 30 credits, 2009, University of Applied Sciences, Jyväskylä

Creative writing 2005 - 2010. University of Jyväskylä

Programs of non-fiction writing, Orivesi School for Writers 2004 - 2005

Cultural Management program, Culminatum, Helsinki, 2000

Program of non-fiction writing, University of Helsinki, 1997

Course in French, University of Jyväskylä, 1987

Librarian, Helsinki 1972, Grade Excellent

Several short courses and seminars in Journalism

Several short courses and seminars in Service Industries and Management skills

Matriculation Examination in 1984, private pupil, High School of Liperi, Grade laudatur


Fluency in spoken and in written English and Swedish
Intermediate command in German language

Computer skills:

Microsoft Office, Photoshop, Social media (FB, Instagram, Twitter, Whatsapp) Several blogs: stoori.fi/ullis-r-urgent , ullisexperience.wordpress.com, ullisopeblogi.wordpress.com, hauskaaa.blogspot.com. Programs for editing web-pages; Wordpress, First Page, Front Page, Nebula.  e-learning platforms Moodle, Optima, Blackboard, eStudio. Online conference programs.


Learning material in Guiding and Cultural tourism, Helmi Business College, 2013 - 2017

Sauna. Article in a text book. Karusaari & Nylund: Matkailu on Cool. Sanoma Pro. 2009 and 2015

Cultural Tourism and Entrepreneurship in Rural Tourism. Kulttuurimatkailu- ja yrittäminen. 2012. Haaga-Helia The University of Applied Sciences.

Love poem. Engraved on a lamp post in the public park in The City of Loviisa, 2011. Published by The City of Loviisa ja Fortum Oyj

The Finnish Arts and Crafts for Tourists. 2011. The Cultural Tourism-material Haaga-Helia The University of Applied Sciences. In Finnish and in English

Hyvä Suomi! E-learning material of Finnish language for economists.2010. Edupoli Oy In Finnish.

Finland as A Travel Destination (Suomi matkailumaana, osa 1.) E-learning material of tourism together with Heidi Jakkula. 2009.Adulta Oy

Sauna. The Bathing and The Tourist. Non fiction book. 2008. ( Satu meni saunaan. Matkailua ja kylpemisen kulttuuria. Tietokirja.) Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences. in English and in Finnish

The Tourism Marketing. The Theories and The Tools (Matkailumarkkinoinnin teorioita ja työkaluja),together with Arja Puustinen. 2007. Edita.

Sauna in Rural Tourism. 80 s. (Sauna ja maaseutumatkailu. 180 s.)Amber - project (Leonardo da Vinci), 2007. Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences. E-learning material and printed versions in English and in Finnish

Tourism Entrepreneur´s Book of Finland. Matkailuyrittäjän Maamme-kirja.  2006. Edita.

Service Culture. Palvelija on johtaja.  2005. Article published in the Annual Book of Tourism in Finland. Edita.

Tourism in Africa 2005. Onko turismista toivoa Afrikalle? Article published in Anthology of Tourism Sociology.

Tours for Families - brochure 2005. City of Helsinki, Tourism and Convention Bureau.

Gazeta, Newspaper of Finland to Russian tourists. Two volumes in 2003 and 2004. Chief Editor and several articles and columns.

Porvoo ja Loviisa, Old Cities in Winter. Newspaper. 2003. Chief Editor and several articles and columns.

Portfolio- A method to create your business idea. 2002. Large article published in the internet portal of Lasmak Economics Ltd. www.lasmak.com

The Routes for Cultural Tourists in Finland. Finnish Tourist Board. 2001 and 2002.

Scandinavian Agent´s Manual for North American markets, Finnish Tourist Board, 2001.

Three fictional stories of Helsinki; Elle, Richard, They were two guys, 2003. City of Helsinki, Tourism and Convention Bureau.

Travel Agent´s Manual 2001. City of Helsinki, Tourism and Convention Bureau.

The Tourist´s Seven Longings 1999. Article in the book FINLAND.The Northern Experience, New Europe and the Next Millennium, Tammi.

Tourism and the Enviroment. 1995. Audio lectures. University of Helsinki

SATUMAA Matkailun perusteet, osa 1. 1994. KSL Opintokeskus. Book on International Tourism, vol 1.

SATUMAA Matkailun perusteet, osa 2. 1996. KSL Opintokeskus. Book on International Tourism, vol 2.

Educational materials of Tourism, Traffic, Geography and Cultural History since 1991

Articles, columns and literary reviews in newspapers and magazines:Helsingin Sanomat, Iltasanomat, Keskisuomalainen, Kotiliesi, Me Naiset, Pellervo, Hymy, Karjalainen, Rakennusvalvonta, Puruvesi-lehti.

Editing, writing and designing a large number of commercial publications on tourism, brochures, marketing materials, professional manuals, web-pages, press releases, advertisements, etc. since 1976.

The Society of Non-fiction Writers in Finland (Suomen Tietokirjailijat ry)

The Society of Bibliophilists of Finland (Bibliofiilien seura ry)

Helsinki Tourist Guides (Helsinkioppaat ry)

Helsingfors auktoriserade turistguider rf. (Swedish Tourist Guides in Helsinki)

 SKÅL Club International Helsinki


Member of the Board of the Helsinki Tourist Guides 2010 -2017

Member of the Board the SKÅL Club International Helsinki since 2011-2016

Member of the Regional Council of Tourism on Eastern Uusimaa Region 2002-2004

Member of the Professional Advisory Committee of the Lönnrot School in Sammatti 2001 - 2006

Member of the Advisory Committee of The National Nature Entrepreneurship-project, LUOLA, 2002 -0

Member of the PD-Examination Board of the University of Joensuu 1997 – 2001

Kansan Sivistysrahasto (People´s Fund for Education): Writer residence summer 2015

The Ministry of Education in Finland, scholarships in 1997, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009,2010,2011,2012 for creative work as an author

The Society of Non-fiction Writers in Finland in 1997, 1998, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008,2010, 2012 for creative work as an author

Travelling Experience in Business:
Travel production and commercial negotiation trips, travel fairs and congresses such as ITB, WTM, PATA, ASTA, POW WOW, TUR, REISE,

Finland workshops in The Netherlands, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada ( Toronto, Niagara), Dominican Republic, Egypt, Spain, South Korea, Hong Kong, Great Britain, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Georgia, Cuba, Luxemburg, The Virgin Islands (USA), The Soviet Union and Russia, Norway, Puerto Rico, France, Sweden, Germany (East and West), Singapore, Switzerland, Denmark,Thailand, Czech Republic, Tunisia, Turkey, Hungary, Estonia, The United States ( New York, East Coast, Georgia, Florida, Texas, California, Hawaii), Ukraine

Travelling Experience as a tour leader and a tour guide:
The Netherlands, Bulgaria, Egypt, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Soviet Union and Russia,   Sweden, Germany, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, The United States and Finland

Interviews and commentaries in the Finnish media:
Appearances in the radio broadcasting channels Ylen ykkönen, Radio Suomi, Radio YleQ and several local radio stations. Appearances in the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE channels TV1 and TV2. In newspapers and magazines Helsingin Sanomat, Kauppalehti, Kotiliesi, Ilta-Sanomat, Keskisuomalainen, Anna, Itä-Savo, Savonmaa, Karjalainen, Puruvesi, Västra Nyland, Hufvudstadsbladet, Hangon lehti, Länsi-Uusimaa, Länsiväylä, Maaseudun Tulevaisuus, Uusimaa, Borgåbladet, Turun Sanomat, Kouvolan Sanomat, Ikkunapaikka, Sisä-Suomen lehti, Helsingin Uutiset. Appearances in social media on several occasions in connection of current topics of international tourism.

Hobbies and interests: books, gardens, writing, history and politics, crocheting good voodoo-dolls, sea running (I will teach you how to do it if you are interested.)

Spouse: Journalist and press photographer Kari Rouhiainen and two sons
- Rymy and his wife Akiko and two grandchildren Aino Asami, and Saimi Tsukimi
- Tarmo
- three sisters, two brothers, 38 cousins, uncles and aunts