In 2017 Finland celebrates its 100 years of independence and will no doubt be one of the year’s top travel destinations. Spreading the word of this special occasion starts already in January as the MATKA Nordic Travel Fair invites 60 travel bloggers from around the world to see what the 100-year-old country has to offer. The bloggers’ visits are a part of the Nordic Bloggers’ Experience and the bloggers will share their experiences to millions of followers and thus spread the word of Finland as a travel destination around the globe. Messukeskus Helsinki is one of the official partners of Finland 100 centenary.
The celebrations have already begun and Finland’s reputation as a top destination has been noted as the National Geographic Traveler, one of the most revered travel magazine, and Lonely Planet, one of the top brands in travel guides, have both added Finland to their list of recommended travel destinations in 2017. More international awareness is surely contributed by the Nordic Bloggers’ Experience (NBE) in January.
This time the NBE is organised for the fourth time and altogether 70 bloggers and vloggers have been chosen to take part. This number includes 11 Finnish hosts and the rest represent 18 different languages and 27 countries. New bloggers come from, for example, Turkey and Indonesia, and the furthest travel to Finland all the way from Peru. All in all the bloggers have over 2 million followers on their blogs and other social media channels, such as Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.
Finland as a destination is getting more and more awareness in international media and this also shows in the number and quality for the applicants of the NBE. The bloggers tell about authentic, personal experiences and their posts are read world-wide: what could be a better way to start promoting Finland’s 100 years of independence, states PR and Media Coordinator Eva Kiviranta from Visit Finland.
MATKA Fair promoting Finnish travel industry
A record number of 500 applications shows clearly that the NBE has established its position as the number one event in Europe for social media influencers. The main reasons for the bloggers to participate are training and networking with not only colleagues, but also with the representatives of the travel industry.
"I will start my own business as a full time blogger and the NBE would be the perfect start for this new adventure. Getting lots of input, meeting lots of inspiring people and - last but definitely not least - finally visiting Finland during winter are my main reasons for taking part in the NBE," lists German blogger Kathrin Heckmann.
In January the bloggers are pampered with winter wonderland adventures and local specialities. The bloggers will, for example, hunt northern lights, bake Karelian pies and examine Finnish sauna traditions. The MATKA Nordic Travel Fair in cooperation with the NBE offer great support in year-round marketing for local Finnish travel organisations. Finland100 theme year in 2017 gives tourists a unique opportunity to enjoy different types of events and festivities together with the Finnish people.
The Nordic Bloggers’ Experience's practical arrangements, including compiling the programme and organising the trips, are made by Messukeskus Helsinki in cooperation with Innastus Oy that specialises in organising successful encounters.
In 2017 the partners of the NBE are Visit Finland, Stop Over Finland, Visit Helsinki, Finavia, Finnair, and the partners in accommodation are Hotel Kamp, Clarion and Forenom. Regional partners are the city of Turku, city of Oulu, Aland Islands, region of Central Finland, Wild Taiga, city of Lahti, Ruka-Kuusamo ski resort and municipality, city of Naantali, city of Vantaa, Estonia and Latvia.
In 2014 the NBE won the Finnish Championships of municipal marketing. In 2015 the programme triumphed as the Best Promotion/ Event launch at the Evento Awards and was also rewarded as the forerunner of blog marketing with The Blog Marketing Award.
The MATKA Nordic Travel Fair is the biggest travel event in Northern Europe. In 2017 it is organised 19-22 January at Messukeskus Helsinki. The Nordic Bloggers’ Experience takes place 14-24 January 2017.