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Matka Travel Fair will open this week

MATKA

Sunday is dedicated to families with children.

A warm breeze of international atmosphere will sweep over Helsinki, when the largest event within the travel trade in Northern Europe opens. Nearly 900 exhibitors and professionals from about 70 countries arrive at the Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre. Finland is represented extensively, and numerous new travel services will be launched during the weekend. Matka Travel Fair is organized at the Helsinki Expo and Convention Centre on January 19-21, 2024 (January 18 reserved for trade professionals). 

Various holiday destinations, from Inari-Saariselkä to cruises on the Congo River, will be explored at the Matka Travel Fair. New destinations, including Albania, Gambia, and Mongolia, will be showcased for the first time. Bulgaria and Discover America will also be present after a long time. Domestic regions will be represented by regional organisations, profiled under marketing names starting with ‘Visit,’ such as ‘Visit Lakeus’ in the Vaasa region. A new major area to be featured is North Karelia and Koli National Park along with its services.

At the Matka Travel Fair, stands representing Namibia, Tanzania, Uganda, and Inspiration Africa convey the warmth and rhythms of Africa. Inspiration Africa will highlight cruises on the Congo River. Japan, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand bring the aesthetics of the Far East to the fair with their impressive displays. Many countries will be represented by friendship associations or travel agencies, including India and Zimbabwe. Spain, Greece, Croatia, Cyprus, Portugal, and Poland – all favoured destinations for Finns – will be prominently displayed. The Baltic countries, on the rise in the Matka 2024 travel forecast, are strongly represented at the fair as well. 

Noora Haatainen, Business Manager of the Matka Travel Fair, believes that people will once again visit the Matka Travel Fair in large numbers to get inspired and to plan their trips. “Our programme stages offer a magnificent array of routes, tips, information, and culture. It’s worth planning your fair visit in advance to get the most out of it. There will be special programmes for families with children on Sunday,” says Haatainen. 

At the Matka Travel Fair, you can specifically see how diverse Finland is as a travel destination. In recent years, numerous new travel destinations, storytelling accommodation services, routes, restaurants, events, museums, and activities have emerged.   

One of the new eshibitors is the expansive stand of North Karelia, constructed from recycled charred wood and other natural materials. Services of Koli, Kolovesi, Patvinsuo, and Petkeljärvi National Parks are also presented in detail. The Lintula Monasteries introduce visitors to Orthodox culture, while other programs include the world’s first jointly played kantele, Musapaja, Nightwish Exhibition Centre, and Kihaus Folk. 

Major and medium-sized cities, such as the Visit Tampere area, present themselves together with smaller localities from the same region. In the Go Saimaa region, in addition to Lappeenranta, Imatra, and Savonlinna, over 50 smaller towns, businesses, and accommodation options are showcased, among which there are undoubtedly hidden gems for many. Ruka-Kuusamo and Lapland’s most famous travel destinations have their own stands, providing extensive information about summer activities and events. The Kouvola area features cultural attractions and local businesses, such as the Mustila Winery, in addition to Repovesi National Park. 

Destinations and cities in the Finnish Archipelago area, including Visit Åland, Turku, Pori, Rauma, Salo, Naantali, and Parainen, have significantly developed their maritime travel services in recent years. Similarly, the Visit Oulu region offers a diverse range of summer and winter travel destinations, along with cultural sites, spanning from Iso-Syöte to the old town of Raahe and the sands of Kalajoki. Kainuu Arctic Lakeland impresses visitors at the Matka Travel Fair with well-known activity destinations in the Vuokatti and Ukkohalla areas, along the shores of Lake Oulujärvi, and in Hossa National Park. 

Adventure Stage  

Adventure Stage offers a new programme package at the Matka Travel Fair, where visitors can share experiences, talk about transformative travel, responsible choices, and adventures near and far. 

 Second Home – Holiday home, second home abroad 

At the Matka Travel Fair’s Second Home area, it’s possible to explore the acquisition of a second home or holiday apartment abroad. With the increasing possibilities of remote work, interest in acquiring a holiday home remains high. The area has its own stage where you can hear current tips and experiences related to acquiring a second home. 

 Meet the World Stage 

Culture, music and dance performances, presentations, and travel tips. 

 Sunny Village and We Love Cruises -areas 

In the Sunny Village area, you can explore South Africa and the Seychelles, as well as long-haul destinations offered by the travel agency Helin Matkat. Cruise industry exhibitors and cruise companies are also located in Hall 7. Visitors can gather information about international cruise trips, from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean and the Far East. The We Love Cruises stage in this area features programmes highlighting various cruise routes, attractions, and exotic destinations such as Malaysia, Madagascar, Thailand, Tanzania, and Uganda. 

 Tasty Travel– Mediterranea Stage 

Food is a significant motivator for travel and a highlight of the vacation. At the Matka Travel Fair, food and restaurants play a more prominent role than before. In the Tasty Travel area, visitors can indulge in flavours from Finland, while the Mediterranea area focuses on Mediterranean cuisine. Here, you can also purchase takeaways to enjoy at home. 

Children’s Sunday

Sunday, January 21, is a themed day for families with children, where young fair visitors are especially taken into consideration. There will be treasure hunts, favourite characters, and musical adventures around the world, taste experiences from different countries, as well as programmes and tips for family-friendly holiday destinations. 

The Matka Travel Fair:

  • organized for the 36th time under the name Matka Travel Fair
  • previously held in January 2023
  • nearly 900 exhibitors from almost 70 different countries
  • approximately 7000 m2 exhibition space 
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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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