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Matka 2012 at Exhibition and Convention Centre


Matka 2012

Matka 2012

The Nordic Travel Fair 2012 organised at the Helsinki Exhibition and Convention Centre on 19–22 January 2012 brings together people interested in travelling. Almost 1,100 exhibitors from more than 70 countries ensure an impressive start for the travel year. The exotic Madagaskar, Uganda and Trinidad and Tobago are now participating for the first time. Also the popularity of domestic tourism is obvious as all of Finland is present in miniature size. The Nordic Travel Fair’s Pearl of Finland, World Design Capital 2012 Helsinki, invests on the fair strongly.

– We are delighted that more than 70 countries are taking part in the Nordic Travel Fair despite the uncertain economy. The genuine international character is what makes the Matka Fair unique – the Fair is a fantastic opportunity to get to know the destinations with local guides. For companies operating in the field, Matka is not just a fair but the opening of the entire travel year. The commitment of exhibitors is apparent in that almost one thousand square metres more of stands were sold in the fair this year than last year. The new facilities of the Exhibition and Convention Centre also attract exhibitors to build large, impressive stands, says sales group manager of the Matka Fair, Inna-Pirjetta Lahti.

Thursday, the first day of the fair, as well as Friday morning, are restricted to travel trade professionals only. The public can visit the fair from Friday noon. During the fair, more than 160 presentations take place with subjects varying from current info flashes and seminar subjects to exiting travel stories and grand shows. This year’s theme, Design Your Journey, is especially reflected in the seminars for travel trade professionals, but also in the stands. This theme also touches on Helsinki’s status as the World Design Capital.

The theme of the Matka Fair in 2013 is Social Journey.
The theme of the Matka 2013 fair was announced in the press conference of this year’s fair. The theme Social Journey includes the concept of a social aspect. People want to share their travel experiences more and more in the social media and also produce many sorts of contents about their travel. On the other hand, the theme includes experiences created by genuine encounters outside the web.

– The role of Internet and social media is significant to current travellers. More than half of Finns use the Internet every day, and the majority of these users are registered with a social media service. Today’s traveller also wants to share their experiences, pictures and opinions with others. The target group is no longer just friends and relatives; information is shared with anyone who is interested. Approaching strangers is easier through social media, and thoughts can be shared in discussion forums. In line with globalisation, such conversations may take place in various languages with very many nationalities around the world, says development consultant Johanna Heinonen of BrainIt.

The theme highlights the fact that travelling is not just looking at the scenery and visiting sights, but people also want to experience and learn about new cultures when they travel. The culture is formed through encounters with local people.

– Social media brings more dimensions and opportunities for encounters: the traveller does not have to start from scratch to get to know people and places as they can utilise the experiences of the community and, with some luck, even get a local guide they’ve got to know online. Meetings face to face also naturally link the theme to the Nordic Travel Fair. The Matka fair has a face when people get to meet more than 1,100 exhibitors face to face, says Heinonen.


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