Matka 2010 held recently from 21st – 24th January 2010 at the Helsinki Exhibition and Convention Centre turned out to be a very modern and well organized fair. The event was focused on the Finnish hospitality market but also included exhibitors and visitors from Scandinavia, Baltics, Poland, Russia, Iceland and Greenland.
Inspite of the temperature hovering around -20 degrees Celsius, more than 80,000 people attended the convention & fair, of which over 18000 were travel trade executives. There were quite a few hoteliers, including groups like Radisson Blu, IHG, Best Western, Omena and Reval Hotels. To my pleasant surprise, there were a large number of independent hotels as well and infact were representing properties from far and across including Vietnam, Korea, China, Panama, Seychelles, USA, Russia, Baltic countries and of course Finland.
The event had various sessions and the main topics included ‘How to be different in hard times as a supplier?’ and ‘How to deliver quality and meet price expectations for your clientele?’
Attending MATKA helped me evaluate the online distribution scenario in Finland. Many hoteliers now understand the opportunities that online distribution & channel management offers. Surprisingly however a substantial number of hoteliers are still using pen and paper methods and manually updating 3rd party websites. Hence the need to educate them on automated benchmarking and channel management practices is a must since Finland can become a fantastic gateway to unexplored territory in Northern Scandinavia and Russia.
Overall it was a great event and I was happy to hear “We know about RT, tell us more” from various hoteliers in the region. For me it was the key that unlocked many doors and created many opportunities.
Dan Jakobsen is Sales Manager, Europe at eRevMax and is responsible for sale of RateTiger products in the region. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org