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TampereAmbassador LauraVanzo
Country of Origin

France

Country of Recidence

Finland

Where are you from?
I am French, from Bergerac in South West France.

What would you like to tell about yourself?
That I felt in love with Tampere, right after falling in love with my Finnish man! I moved to Tampere at the end of 2014, so it’s still quite recent, but it is impressive to see how many things happened in my life ever since. I spent one full year learning Finnish at Onnenkieli school in a intensive way, through an amazing integration program (I still remember how it felt to walk through the city without understanding a single word around me, I feel relieved that this is behind now!). I made new friends (foreigners like me, but also Finnish ones with whom I like to show off my new language skills! (or at least check and update those…), and I am willing now to make my own path. Despite the fact I am French, I would be proud to be considered as a real Tamperelainen. My life is here now!

Why is Tampere the best place to live?
There is something about this city, a “feel good” effect. What surprised me is how quickly I felt home here, still having such a challenge to create a whole new life. I often find myself, just smiling, walking in town, simply happy to be here. I mean, there is everything one would need in Tampere! Nature is all around, reachable within a few minutes, and still we can feel the beat of an economic and cultural healthy life. No wonder that students all around the world are attracted by Tampere universities. There is a young dynamic in here, always something happening. Before to move here, I didn’t know many places where I could go to museum on the morning, ice skate on a frozen lake on the afternoon, and enjoy a gig on the evening, all happening the same day and without needing a car. Tampere is definitely cool.

Tell about your professional activities?
First I can say is that I quit my job in order to move here. For lots of people, that sounded a bit extreme, but I knew it would worth it, soon or later. For now I face the “no one was waiting for me here” except my partner, I have to prove myself even more, but that’s motivating. After my Tourism master degree in 2012, I worked in the world of luxury two years as a receptionist in Audemars Piguet company (high quality watches in Switzerland). Before that, I went through a quite wide range of internships and professional experiences, from guide on tour boats, event planning in natural history museum, guidebook updating, to working in a Italian youth hotel, and developing the tourism attractiveness of a territory in a French tourist office.

At the moment, my main professional activity is contributing to give a fresher look to my former language school’s website through a photographing job.

During my integration program, I had the privilege at the beginning of this year to do my internship in the tourist office of the city, working as well with Tredea members. I’ve became part of the team who is managing Tampere-All Bright! Instagram, and I am now looking forward to September, when I will come back to Visit Tampere tourist office for a longer period of 6 months. I of course hope it will lead me to work with the team on new projects and eventually become part of it.

I always have been keenly interested in working and interacting with people, using different languages, sharing interests and discovering new ones. It’s one of the exciting aspects of Tourism, it is a very “connected” way to work.

What is your involvement in international activities?
I didn’t say it clearly earlier, but photography is my passion. It’s been years I share it through the magic of internet, developing progressively my network on an international level. That’s by the way how I met “my Tamperelainen” while I was still living in France.

On the Flickr community (Flickr is a photo-sharing and hosting service), my pictures are followed by approximately 4000 people, from USA, Brazil, India, Spain, Korea, Germany, Slovakia, Scotland… all around the globe.

With every picture, I share also a piece of my life, my thoughts, my dreams. Since I moved here, I shared even more about the happiness of my experiences, the beauty of my surroundings, and how I felt in love with Finland…

I think we can talk about a “visual and emotional involvement in international activities”!

What is your mission as a Tampere – All Bright! Ambassador?
I want to keep communicating and participating in branding Tampere as an attractive destination globally and touristically, by getting to know always better the city’s numerous assets and sharing my enthusiasm on my network. My purpose is to show to people all what Tampere as to offer: Näsinneula observation tower, Pyynikki doughnuts and traditional markets, floating saunas, music and film festivals, ice skating or canoe paddling on the lake, among many other things, and yes, if very lucky… northern lights! By keeping posting pictures on Tampere-All Bright! Instagram, and updating my photostream about the amazing place I live in, I want to help spreading the young and dynamic image of the city with my french and international network, and show that Tampere is appealing for a wide range of people, in the short-term as well as in the long-term.

What potential do you see for Tampere in the future?
Tampere is already a great place to live in or to visit (it broke the record last year with over one million overnight stays), but my feeling is that this is just a beginning. Economical, innovating, sustainable projects among many others like the “AiRRport” or the Ratina shopping center are flourishing all the time, and the growth of the city is truly visible. All of this is very positive for the national, international and more particularly business tourism.

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