Ruskavahti made data predict natural phenomena
A significant area of development in Visit Finland’s business operations was to promote year-round tourism and stand out from other countries. Particularly, a boost was sought for the autumn season, as most foreign tourists traveled to Finland either during the winter or summer season. In a tough competitive situation, limited resources had to be put to strategic and daring implementations.
We identified Ruska as a unique yet unpredictable natural tourist attraction. Until recently, it was almost impossible for tourists to discern the best times and locations to experience the most vibrant Ruska in Finland. This conundrum sowed the seed of technological and creative innovation. We wondered whether Visit Finland could differentiate itself on the international tourism stage by using AI to predict the progression of the Finnish Ruska. We envisioned harnessing data and AI technology to create a visually captivating map that could track the progression of Ruska’s radiant glow, thereby enhancing customers’ experiences and providing valuable benefits.
We developed an innovative solution, Ruskavahti, together with Visit Finland. Ruskavahti, also called Autumn Foliage Live, is an AI-powered and image-analyzing application for recognizing Ruska. The AI algorithm trained by Dagmar tells about the progression of the Ruska by analyzing images from the nationwide road camera network. New camera images are uploaded and analyzed using the algorithm daily, and these, along with other data, are used to update the forecasts for Ruska’s progression on a weekly basis.
It is easy for end-users to view the current Ruska situation from a map of Finland, which facilitates planning a trip to Finland.
International media were enthralled by the innovativeness of Ruskavahti. The reach of the service in terms of the content published by the news media was staggering: almost 386 million. ‘What a great tool’ and ‘What a nice interactive site’ are examples of received comments. The website behavior of visitors to Ruskavahti on the Visitfinland.com site also verified satisfaction. Ruskavahti was published for inspiration in August 2022, by which time most autumn trips had already been planned. The service will be available for consumers to use in planning their autumn 2023 trips.
“Ruskavahti is our first marketing campaign where we utilize artificial intelligence. The technicality of the entity has brought its own thrilling moments, but we have happily watched how well the service has been received. Especially delightful was how much attention our campaign aimed at an international audience also received in Finland.”– Minna Myyrinmaa, Digital Marketing Specialist, Visit Finland.