Fans arrive to Tampere and the Moomin Museum from thousands of kilometers away. The Moomin Museum in Tampere exceeded the visitor count goal before it’s one year anniversary, and by the beginning of August, the Moomins have been visited already by nearly 120 000 people from all around the world.
On an August weekday, it’s busy at the Moomin Museum.
Nearly half of the visitors are estimated to be from outside Finland. The statistics confirm the estimation: the museum assistant Minna Honkasalo says that over a third of the museum goers in the summer season are foreign.
– Our Japanese language guide told us that there have been only a couple of work days without getting to speak Japanese.
Inside the exhibition, Japanese Miyuki Noda is concentrating on the original illustrations by Tove Jansson. She fell in love with Moomins as a child, watching the Moomin animations on television. She came to Finland and to Tampere solely because of the Moomin Museum.
– I got to know the Museum beforehand online. I have waited for this for a long time, and I am very happy to finally be here. Now I want to learn a lot more about Finland.
The Japanese are the biggest international guest group. There are also many British, German and Russian visitors. Heli Jokela from Visit Tampere estimates that there would be growth potential especially in the U.K.
– For example Moomin-themed pop-up exhibitions have been organized there.
Minna Honkasalo couldn’t be much more pleased than when looking back on the Moomin Museum’s first year. June 17th 2017 the Museum opened, and already in May 2018 there had been over 100 000 visitors.
– I believe that these figures will be matched this year as well.
Visit Tampere’s Heli Jokela says that the Moomin Museum has grown to be the number one individual international attraction in Tampere, along side the lakeside and sauna experience.
There will also be a new hotel being built next to the Moomin Museum, estimated to bring moire devoted guests to the museum.
But what on Earth makes people travel around the world to learn more about theses fictional characters?
–It’s difficult to explain. Moomins are just so pleasant and they make me feel comfortable, says Miyuki Noda.