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A record 80 countries to participate in the MATKA Nordic Travel Fair

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In addition to the favourite destinations of Finns – Sweden, Estonia, Greece, Spain and Turkey – the fair exhibitors will also include seven countries that have never participated in the MATKA Nordic Travel Fair before.
The MATKA Nordic Travel Fair is setting a new record this year for the number of countries represented at the fair. At the Helsinki Exhibition & Convention Centre, you can take a trip around the world, seeing what 80 different countries have to offer. This strengthens the MATKA Nordic Travel Fair’s position as the most important travel event in Northern Europe. In addition to the favourite destinations of Finns – Sweden, Estonia, Greece, Spain and Turkey – the fair exhibitors will also include seven countries that have never participated in the MATKA Nordic Travel Fair before.

The first-timers at the fair this year are renowned wine country Chile; Serbia, the most multicultural country of the Balkans; Reunion, the pint-sized island state in the Indian Ocean belonging to France; Sudan, located in the North African Sahara and Nile region; Nicaragua, the Central American country home to dozens of national parks and nature conservation areas; and exotic Jamaica and Anguilla in the Caribbean. Returning to the MATKA Nordic Travel Fair this year are Botswana, South Africa, Morocco, Denmark and Gambia.

“Globalisation means that for travellers the globe is getting ever smaller and more accessible. The presence of numerous different countries at the MATKA Nordic Travel Fair is a sign of Finns’ growing enthusiasm for travelling to ever more faraway and exotic destinations,” says Inna-Pirjetta Lahti, Sales Group Manager for the Finnish Fair Corporation.

A miniature Finland on display at the Fair
The MATKA Nordic Travel Fair will play host to a total of nearly 1,100 exhibitors. Nearly two thirds of these represent domestic destinations and travel operators. Travelling in Finland will be on display in all its glory, from the Åland islands to Utsjoki. Tasty local delicacies and fast-paced programming, such as rehearsals for the UIT theatre group’s Ilometritehdas revue, are among the activities in store for the Fair. At the fair, the Pearl of Finland, PohjolaArctic, will get visitors acquainted with the area that includes the Northern Ostrobothnia and Kainuu regions. Another place worth a visit is the stand presenting Finland’s UNESCO World Heritage sites, which will show visitors the Fortress of Suomenlinna, Old Rauma, Petäjävesi Old Church, Verla Groundwood and Board Mill, the Sammallahdenmäki archaeological site, Struve Geodetic Arc and the Kvarken Archipelago.

Lessons about using social media for travel
The theme of the Matka Fair in 2103 is Social Journey. The theme deals with social aspects both pf face-to-face meetings and encounters in social media. The representatives from different countries will tell visitors about the specialities of their own countries and about the best features in the programmes and at their own stands. At the same time, they give a face to the country, area or company they represent.

“Face-to-face encounters are at the heart of travel. Both domestic destinations and faraway countries become closer and more easily approachable when visitors can associate a face to the destination at the Fair,” Inna-Pirjetta Lahti reckons.
 
Social media has been taken into consideration in the content of the MATKA Nordic Travel Fair. The Bloggers’ Lounge in the Social Journey area gives bloggers an opportunity to update their blogs and network with other bloggers. At the Belizia stage, visitors can hear talks by the food blogger “Hellapoliisi” (‘the Stove Police’) and one of the writers of the Pikavuoro maailman ympäri (‘Around the World Express’) travel blog. In addition, the programme will offer tips for starting your own travel blog and on how to put social media to use when planning a trip. You can also send a video greeting from your own Travel Fair visit to your friends, via e-mail or a social media channel, for example.

The largest event of the travel trade in Northern Europe, the Nordic Travel Fair MATKA, presents foreign and domestic destinations at the Helsinki Exhibition & Convention Centre 17 – 20 January 2013. Open to travel trade professionals Thu 17 January from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Fri 18 January from 9 a.m. to noon. The MATKA Nordic Travel Fair and the Caravan Fair are open to the public on Fri 18 January from noon to 7 p.m., Sat-Sun 19–20 January from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
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