Marnie Byford, Chief Operating Officer of Supreme Staffing, Top 10 Promising CEOs of 2023

Tanja Saarnio
Chairman of the Board
Touring Cars

Marnie Byford, Chief Operating Officer of Supreme Staffing

“Let oneness be the reason for your triumph”

Chairman of the Board, Tanja Saarnio, is pleased to promote Touring Cars, a motorhome industry pioneer since 1982. Scandinavia's largest and oldest motorhome rental company offers five-star vacations. Despite obstacles, Tanja's rental business has expanded for 40 years. They pioneer sustainable and unique vacations for worldwide clients and international tour operators. Based in several European countries, they prioritize customer satisfaction, reliability, quality, and sustainability. Their diversified customer base likes tailored travel, Europe's splendor, and short breaks. Despite honors, they prioritize client satisfaction.

It was when marketing professor Raija Komppula commended Tanja Saarnio's business experience, praising her innovation, perseverance, and risk-taking. Saarnio's Touring Cars uses a novel approach to leasing RVs from people or businesses to tourists, boosting growth. This fits contemporary shared economy and sustainability values. Saarnio's company's success is based on her belief in motorhomes' unique travel experiences, and she has been recognized for her tourism innovation. Her dedication to quality, innovation, and risk-taking has grown her firm and changed her life.

Tanja always cites her coworkers, partners, and clients as her inspirations. She credits their accomplishments to effort, inventiveness, and passion. Tanja thinks work should be about establishing a happy environment where everyone can succeed, not just performing duties. Their partners and customers share this belief as well. She values employee involvement and building solid workplace ties, prioritizes clients, and credits personnel for the company's success. She has traveled far to meet stakeholders and improve global operations. Touring Cars' Tanja leads with respect and good relationships. When customers go with them, their team's ideas and work are realized. They've always believed, "Alone, they are strong, but together, they are stronger."

Tanja prioritizes staff well-being and encourages open communication, feedback, and accountability to build trust, dedication, and organized governance in working partnerships to inspire and lead. At the same time, the company seeks to shape the future using efficiency, agility, and open communication. Quick decisions and proactive problem-solving help them avoid complex hierarchies.

Before reconstructing, Tanja is always aware of her end objective. This helps her concentrate and communicate the changes to her team and others. She thinks restructuring is about people and appreciates stakeholder trust and cooperation. By integrating stakeholders early and communicating openly, she has established a sense of shared responsibility and unity, making the transition easier. She also values stakeholder engagement, risk assessment, and anticipating and adapting to issues. Her project management style is agile, flexible, and responsive, employing iterative procedures and feedback loops to stay on track and make adjustments quickly.

Tanja discusses the steps involved in turning a company into a franchise. The company previously used centralized decision-making but understood its limitations. Franchise fees and training were examined after the decision to franchise. Executing the new concept while ensuring stakeholder understanding of the brand and operations was the biggest challenge. To ease the transition, training programs were created and feedback sessions were held throughout the project to address any issues; therefore, communication was crucial. New franchisees needed coaching from existing team members. Outlets in various places show that the shift was successful. Effective teamwork, communication, and stakeholder commitment made this feasible. Notably, the team's capacity to adapt, persevere, and foster expansion is commendable.

Tanja assigns enthusiastic teams to drive change during restructuring and project phases. This group helps achieve goals and implement ideas. Tanja focuses on reviewing progress and finding development opportunities. Continuous learning enhances processes and strategies. Tanja celebrated every win, no matter how small, to energize the team. Her project management and reorganization skills include strategic planning, personnel prioritization, and continuous improvement. Though difficult, the knowledge and accomplishments achieved were valuable.

In the dynamic realm of organizational management, Tanja often faces tough decisions. The challenges have been myriad, from restructuring to ensuring the timely completion of projects, but the guiding principles that Tanja adhered to have steered her through these tumultuous waters." Her perceptions and strategic acumen have altered from 2011's Tampere Chamber of Commerce Certified Board Member courses and exam to her current doctoral studies in Business Administration at College de Paris University. Her business and professional objectives have improved with each milestone. Tanja has learned through experience that success needs planning, learning, and adaptability. Her perspective and strategic thinking have improved her business plan from board member classes to PhD studies. Her experience has shown that while gut is valuable, data-driven and researched conclusions are more sustainable. In addition, business continuity is as crucial as development in succession planning.

The European motorhome and caravan industry has changed. Domestic tourism and motorhome and caravan travel have increased because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The rental market, which lets consumers enjoy the experience without committing to a long-term commitment or paying exorbitant fees for purchases, has driven this growth. A change in attitude about motorhome and caravan vacations has benefited the rental company. Regional and national manufacturers compete with eco-friendly innovations, and sustainability considerations have led to greener travel options.

The motorhome and caravan vacation industry has infrastructure challenges as it increases. The popularity of these retreats has highlighted the need for better camping sites and facilities, explains Tanjan. Motorhome and caravan sales can fall during recessions, but rental companies are protected. Online booking, reviews, and travel planning are growing, making digital platforms crucial in this sector. Customers demand distinctive rentals; therefore, customization is popular. Rental companies offer customized and luxurious models to suit diverse tastes. The European motorhome and caravan rental sector faces both advantages and challenges due to shifting travel habits and cultural views. It will be interesting to see how rental companies respond to modern vacationers.

Tanja's daughter Elle's desire to continue their business prides her. Elle will learn from Tanja how to manage the shifting business world and keep touring cars ahead. Elle's involvement will boost mentoring and hands-on learning. Tanja thinks touring cars should focus on values rather than expansion and profits. However, Tanja uses personal experiences, data-driven plans, succession planning, and a commitment to entrepreneurial growth and continuity for small and medium-sized businesses and touring cars.

They stayed positive as they neared their 40th anniversary in 2022, since RV sales and rentals drive their success. Touring Cars intends to dominate motorhome rental by franchising and growing across Europe. Their resilience and unique perspective are notably evident in the Nordic countries, where they established their brand in Norway. The brand has spread across Europe without sacrificing consistency. Touring Cars Rent Ltd. coordinates branding and regional knowledge, and a partnership with Hobby Wohnwagenverket Factory improves fleet quality and diversity. Besides, strategic linkages, adaptability, and forward-thinking strategies supported touring vehicle growth. Their combination of local knowledge and brand consistency will continue to guide their future endeavors!

They have been recognized with several awards over the years, but what drives them is their commitment to creating 'good feelings' for travel lovers, claims Tanjan. This isn’t just a tagline or a promise she makes to every traveler who chooses Touring Cars!


Touring Cars


Tanja Saarnio
Chairman of the Board
Touring Cars


Touring Cars is one of the oldest motorhome holiday service providers in Europe. Our exciting journey started already in 1982 in Finland and we have been growing into one of the major players in our business section in Europe.

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