A 20 percent rise in travelers to Greece from Finland in 2018 is set to further increase by an additional 11 percent this year, according to data collected by the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) at the annual MATKA Nordic Travel Fair, which took place last week in Helsinki.
GNTO Secretary General Konstantinos Tsegas, president Charalambos Karimalis and director of the Scandinavia office Pavlos Mourmas met with Finland-based tour operators and travel professionals from Aurinkomatkat, Apollo, Detur, and Matkavekka, as well as with representatives from the Association of Finnish Travel Agents AFTA – SMAL, the Federation of Finnish-Greek Associations and with the CEO of Lappeenranta Airport, Eija Joro, with whom they discussed the possibility of launching direct air links, in addition to the new connection from Lappeenranta Airport to Athens and Thessaloniki.
According to a study carried out last month (December 2018) on 1,236 people by research firm Kantar TNS on behalf of ΜΑΤΚΑ organizers, thematic tourism products are increasing in popularity in Finland. Indicatively, 29 percent of those polled are planning a culture-focused trip, 29 percent are looking into taking a nature holiday, 26 percent are organizing travel focused on history, while the number of sports vacations, which often include extreme sports, are also on the rise (26 percent).
More than 650 exhibitors from around the world and over 61,000 visitors participated in MATKA 2019. Representing Greece at the GNTO stand were the regions of Crete and of the South Aegean, hotels from Rethymno, the Federation of Finnish-Greek Associations and Aegean Airlines.