On 19 October, being the official partner of ITB Asia 2016, Visit Finland launched its news stopover initiative for Asian travellers en route to Europe.
With this customised programme the Finnish travel industry now stands ready to welcome all the new visitors with Finland has many unique selling points and highlights that no other country can offer.
At ITB Asia Visit Finland brought together 49 Finnish exhibitors and gave trader show visitors a taste of Finland via the ‘Happy Corner’, one of the largest stands at this year’s show.
‘Happy Corner’ is the perfect antidote for tired and weary visitors a playful and engaging space showcasinf the best of all things Finnish. Finland-based Kyrö Distillery served Napue Gin and Tonic cocktails near the end of each day, a ‘name generator’ change visitor’s names into a Finnish equivalent and a lucky draw awarded prizes courtesy of Finnair and StopOver Finland.
Finland’s location in the crossroads of the west and east allows for the shortest connection between Asia and Europe. Just 12 hours’ flight time from Singapore, Helsinki and its surrounding countryside are the perfect stopover destination to enjoy a wealth of Nordic experiences. Launched earlier this year, the StopOver Finland programme now offers Asian travellers new easily accessible packages and services lasting from five hours to five days.
Just 30 minutes from Helsinki-Vantaa airport (HEL), Helsinki boasts a unique coastal environment with 130 kilometres of shoreline and an archipelago of more than 300 islands. Culinary enthusiasts will be keen to dine at Helsinki’s four Michelin-starred restaurants, while designers will delight in the captivating Art Nouveau architecture and a design district where 200 of the city’s best artists, designers and creative agencies are based. Shoppers will appreciate iconic Finnish brands.
Outside of the capital city, Finland’s countryside proffers incredible natural beauty. Appreciation of the outdoors is deeply rooted in Finnish culture and visitors can explore one of Finland’s 39 national parks and endless unspoiled rivers, forests and lakes. Spanning over 1000km in length, Finland’s landscape and weather conditions differ greatly between North and South and the country itself can be divided into four regions; gaze at the Northern Lights in Finnish Lapland, swim free in the glittering lakes of Lakeland, cycle along the extensive coastline and archipelago or explore cosmopolitan Helsinki.
An initiative by Visit Finland, launched in collaboration with Finnair and other Finnish travel experts, StopOver Finland and its partners aim to showcase the best of Finland, while creating efficient and enjoyable experiences for visitors.
“StopOver Finland is your gateway to a whole host of services – from accommodation to dining, nature activities to shopping – to show both new and repeat visitors the best of our beautiful country,” says StopOver Finland Program Director and Head of Visit Finland Global Sales Promotion, Ms Heli Mende.
On 17 October Finnair also began flying with the brand new Airbus A350 XWB aircraft on its Singapore – Helsinki route. Finnair’s new A350s offer a unique Nordic experience and the best of Nordic hospitality, from its light and spacious cabin design to regional ingredients and flavours, Finnish brands available through in-flight retail to mood lighting inspired by the Northern Lights.
Highlights from the StopOver Finland programme include Jogging Between Flights, where travellers are invited to stretch their legs, enjoy some fresh air and see Helsinki’s main sites all at once, with an English speaking running guide. Northern Lights in Winter, a three-night stopover, provides the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore the natural phenomenon. Live Like a Local offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy life like a true Finn, a compact introduction to the Finnish way of life that includes a dinner at a local home, amongst many other unique experiences. Finland and Estonia in One Stop invites travellers to do a quick trip to medieval town of Tallinn (Estonia) and experience two countries at one time.
Further information on StopOver Finland: www.visitfinland.com/stopover/