New experiences and foreign destinations attract visitors
The Matka travel fair in Helsinki has given a head start to the travel year for 2014. The main reason for visiting the event, the organisers say, was to discover interesting travel destinations and find new experiences.
Around 67,000 people turned up for the event – concrete evidence, the organisers say, that travel continues to interest the Finns despite the economic situation.
This year the event boasted almost 1,000 exhibitors from 81 countries. According to a visitor survey made by TNS Gallup, 91% of visitors came to get more information on destinations outside Finland.
Four out of five came also to enjoy the experiences that these types of events give, such as music performances, tastings and virtual travel.
“The Nordic Travel Fair Matka again proved that Finns need traveling to escape the routines of everyday life,” Association of Finnish Travel Agents CEO Heli Mäki-Fränti said. “Visitors come to get inspired and see something exciting instead of just listening to gloomy news.”
According to the visitor survey, three out of four visitors got information on European destinations, while over half acquainted themselves with more remote destinations. Another survey found that the most interesting exotic destinations for Finns could be found in the Caribbean and that Iceland was the most interesting exotic destination near Finland.
Travel services are the largest product group for online purchases in Finland. But there is still a need for personal service, as 60% of Matka’s visitors said they came to see the representatives of different travel destinations and services face to face.
Next year, Matka will be held on January 15-18, 2015, the partner country being Egypt.
[pictured: Matka 2014; photo by Markku Ojala/Messukeskus]