The MATKA Nordic Travel Fair held at Messukeskus Helsinki is arousing interest globally. In January 2015 a programme specifically designed for travel bloggers, the Nordic Bloggers' Experience (NBE), is organised for the second time at the fair. The programme was a success and this time a record number of 270 travel bloggers from around the world applied. 40 bloggers with followers around the globe were chosen to take part in this unique experience.
The chosen bloggers share their travel tips and experiences in many languages. In addition to English, these bloggers write in, for example, Chinese, Dutch, Japanese, Korean, Italian, French and Spanish.
The Nordic Bloggers' Experience is organised by Messukeskus Helsinki in cooperation with Visit Helsinki and Visit Finland. In addition to the MATKA Nordic Travel Fair, the selected group of bloggers gets acquainted with Helsinki and other intriguing destinations in Finland. The programme begins already a few days before the Matka fair with tailored trips from the most northern parts of Finland to the southern archipelago. Themes of these trips are Silence Please, Wild & Free and Cultural Beat. In accordance with the themes, the trips include cultural experiences, exploring nature and enjoying the type of silence only Finland can offer.
After exploring other parts of Finland, the bloggers return to Helsinki and to the MATKA Nordic Travel Fair. At the fair the bloggers get a unique opportunity to meet travel professionals around the world. In addition to that, the bloggers can take part in various seminars and workshops, which are open to other travel bloggers as well.
The workshops are hosted, for example, by Pete and Dalene Heck known for the blog Hecktic Travels which was awarded with the Traveler of the Year title by National Geographic. Other workshop hosts include Keith Jenkins from the Velvet Excape blog who also created the iAmbassador blogger network, and the acknowledged photographer Laurence Norah from the Finding the Universe blog.
Years of hard work for making the MATKA Nordic Travel Fair more international have paid off as the event is now the biggest travel event in northern Europe. With the help of travel bloggers, news about the event has spread wider to regions such as Asia and South-America bringing new exhibitors and visitors from these areas, states Ms Lumia Ankkuri, the sales group manager of MATKA fair.
The NBE offers truly unique experiences for the bloggers. The city of Helsinki is explored from the ground and air, and flying over the Helsinki coastline no doubt gives an unforgettable overview of the city. In Helsinki the bloggers will have an opportunity to participate in an Amazing race competition in addition to the programme designed according to the themes. The Cultural Beat programme offers food orienteering in one of the Helsinki’s five food districts and the bloggers can take part in a walking tour combining art and design. The Wild & Free bloggers will get to know Helsinki through fun activities in the urban nature.
Blogs are essential to the travel business
Travel bloggers provide companies with valuable feedback as well as promotion. Also the partners of the NBE value the feedback given by the bloggers.
Momondo is happy to support the NBE, as we are always interested in connecting with our users and hearing their feedback on what we do, and what they are passionate and curious about. That way we can create features and products that are even more aligned with their dreams and needs, says Petteri Jalonen, spokesperson for Momondo in Finland.
The new Finnish invention revolutionising the travel industry, the CreateTrips travel planning application, creates useful content for travelers with the help of travel bloggers. The application also offers travel bloggers a means to earn some travel money by publishing miniature travel guides based on thei blogs. Cooperation with the NBE is very concrete and relations with the bloggers are built by taking part in events as well as creating competitions.
"We encourage travel bloggers to publish travel guides of their favourite destinations. We also take part in the bloggers' workshop in which different options for making a living with travel blogs are discussed," explains Juha-Petteri Kukkonen, the founder of CreateTrips.
The Nordic Bloggers' Experience is designed for international travel bloggers visiting the MATKA Nordic Travel Fair. Over 50 travel blogs are involved of which 10 are Finnish host blogs. The NBE is organised by Messukeskus Helsinki in cooperation with Visit Helsinki and Visit Finland. In 2015 the partners are Radisson Blu (accommodation), Finnair (flights), CreateTrips and Momondo (content). In Finland the bloggers are entertained by the municipality of Enontekio, Visit Espoo, Visit Hameenlinna, the municipality of Inari together with ski resort Saariselka, Visit Mikkeli, Visit Porvoo, Visit Aland, Visit Sweden, Viking Line and the cities of Rovaniemi and Turku.
The Nordic Bloggers’ Experience, its tailored trips and other arrangements are organised by Innastus Oy in cooperation with travel blogger Sebastian Canaves from Germany.
The Nordic Travel Fair MATKA is the largest travel event in northern Europe and next time it is organised 15 – 18 January 2015 at Messukeskus Helsinki. It introduces travel destinations from Finland and around the world.