MATKA Nordic Travel Fair

Estonia to Feature in the Matka Nordic Travel Fair

Matka Nordic Travel Fair, the largest travel industry event in Northern Europe, will be held at Messukeskus in Helsinki from 16 to 19 January 2020.

Visitors to the event can explore Estonia, the partner country of the 2020 Matka Nordic Travel Fair, from a variety of angles. The Finnish-Estonian comedian and writer Antto Terras will present Estonia’s hottest destinations and will share his experiences of Estonia on the Norwegian Stage on Friday at 15:00, on the Inspiration Stage on Saturday at noon and 14:30, and on Sunday at noon and 14:00. Visitors can also explore Estonia, in particular, as a country that easily lends itself to traveling by land. On Friday 17 January at 15:30 on the Maata pitkin (‘By Land’) stage, the travel blogger and travel marketing expert Liis Talv will present the coastal cities of Haapsalu and Pärnu, and especially the accessibility of these destinations by public transport.

Immediately afterwards, on the same stage, the cyclist-traveler Kati Saari will share her tips and experiences on the possibilities of bicycle travel in Estonia. On Saturday 18 January at 11:00 on the Norwegian Stage, Kadri Jalonen, a tourism coordinator for Ida-Viru County, will present the gems of Eastern Estonia. Visitors to the area should at least experience the Valaste nature trail, the city of Narva, and the Narva Opera Festival, held in the former Kreenholm factory complex.

Trends in the travel and tourism sector and the role of travel in a changing society will be prominently featured at the Matka Nordic Travel Fair. The travel and tourism sector accounts for 10% of the world’s GDP and employs one in ten people worldwide, but as tourism grows, the carrying capacity of the planet is being put to the test. How should responsibility be taken into account in the industry? Is responsibility and sustainability becoming the new norm in the travel and tourism sector? Jeppe Klockareson, a travel professional and the representative of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council in Sweden, will use his speech on the Inspiration Stage, on Thursday 16 January at 12:30, to discuss the challenges and opportunities of tourism and the #flygskam (‘flight shame’) phenomenon in Sweden.

Meanwhile, actors in the travel industry are exploring different solutions to make the industry as sustainable and responsible as possible. What can a single company do? The responsible travel companies, products and services that have made it to the final of the Sustainable Travel Competition of the Matka Nordic Travel Fair, will be presented on Friday 17th January at 15:00 on the Matkatieto stage. Each of the companies that reach the final will get a chance to present their products or services, after which the jury will select the winner, who will be awarded a €3,000 prize, donated by the Finnish Fair Foundation. The purpose of the competition is to encourage companies and actors in the travel industry to take responsibility into account in their products, and to demonstrate to companies what concrete actions they can take to promote responsibility.

In a changing world, information and news travel fast. Indeed, popular social-media influencers with a high number of followers assume an increasingly important role in the type of information and content that we see in social media, for example, about crisis situations around the world. What kind of information was distributed online about the Notre Dame fire? What is the responsibility of social-media influencers regarding the accuracy of the information they share? How do you know what information is accurate? This topic will be explored in a panel discussion organised by PING Helsinki, Mediapool and HybridCoE, to be held on the Inspiration Stage on Thursday 16 January at 11.30.

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