The first virtual sales event arranged by the Arctic Lakeland Kainuu tourism area on 23rd February attracted almost 30 participants from 15 different countries. Tour operators especially from Italy, France, Great Britain, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, and Estonia were interested in the tourism opportunities Kainuu region has to offer. There were participants also from countries further away, from United Arab Emirates, India, Taiwan, South Korea, and China.
” The amount of interest surprised us, and our goals for the event were well exceeded. We were pleased to have new tour operators visiting our region virtually. The tourism companies of Kainuu region had more than 100 virtual negotiations during the event”, says Minna Komulainen from the Regional Council of Kainuu, who coordinated the event.
” It was good to have an own event for presenting our region and all its possibilities”, says Aija Laukkanen, Tourism Expert at the Sotkamo municipality. “This way, we were able to really show our region to our guests. Kainuu seems to be an interesting, new destination. The tour operators were especially interested in the Vuokatti winter season 2022-2023, and we also discussed charter flights.”
” I agree that there clearly was interest towards finding a new area, offering experiences comparable to Lapland, but with less crowds”, says Milja Korhonen, the Marketing Manager of the regional capital, city of Kajaani.” In international marketing activities, our joint Arctic Lakeland -brand and the contents matter, making the region known and raising interest towards it.”
” There were potential buyers also for the tourism products of Hossa national park, for winter-, summer- and autumn periods.”, says Tiia Mustonen from the Suomussalmi municipality.
” Wild Taiga products, such as bear watching, raised interest”, says Assi Heikkinen, who represents this well established association of local tourism companies and experiences in international marketing and sales activities.
” I represent the Ukkohalla Sport & Relax resort, and I was proud the tell the tour operators about the variety of services we have available after developing our resort over the years. They were keen to know more about the variable services, and there was also special interest towards our new Sky Cabins with a breath-taking view on top of the hill”, says Jussi Kiiskilä, CEO and partner of the resort. ” Our long-term to attract international tourism is starting to pay off. As my Arctic Lakeland colleagues have just said, there clearly is demand for new destinations, where both the services and the milieu enable a quality holiday, but without the crowds of tourists at the more traditional resorts.”
The event was initiated by Spot-lit project, funded by the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme. The Regional Council of Kainuu has participated this project since November 2018, developing literature tourism in the Kainuu region. “The Spot-lit project is soon ending, and this was a great opportunity to showcase the products we have created. Especially the Kalevala themed product of Wild Taiga was something that we’ll easily be able to sell for international groups and individuals”, says Minna Komulainen, who is managing the project in Kainuu.
Minna Komulainen, Regional Council of Kainuu
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