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Kaisa Kosonen, Digital Development Manager at Visit Finland, caught up with Nick Hall ahead of #DTTT Global to discuss the mission to become a Smart Destination by the end of 2020, and how Finland is already on route to achieving this after Helsinki recently won first place in the European Commission’s new European Capital of Smart Tourism 2019 competition.

This project, although not directly linked, has naturally progressed from StopOver Finland. The programme targeting International travellers who are travelling via Finland, particularly from Asia, encouraging them to make the most of Finland on their stopover. Whether that is for 24 hours or 5 days, there is something to cater to every individual traveller.

Following StopOver Finland, Visit Finland discovered that there were so many great Finnish travel companies and experiences that were not available online, a fundamental need in today’s market. By collaborating with partners such as Finnair, and investing in existing technologies and platforms, Visit Finland has now embarked on getting the whole industry onboard with digital not only for today’s consumers but also for future consumers. This involved formulating an actionable roadmap to start, focusing on 3 main areas that could be tackled straight away; Data, Online inventory and Education.

Data Collection

Collecting and sharing customer data between DMOs and travel companies is a fundamental element to the strategy, across every stage of the process. This is to ensure travellers have all the relevant information when they are actively searching and booking, to getting inspiration from DMOs while they are visiting, to sharing their experiences across social platforms throughout and after their trip. This is also key when it comes to product development that responds to travelling trends and ever-changing consumer behaviour.

Online Inventory

As a result of the StopOver Finland programme, the second priority is the need to ensure all the wonderful companies and experiences are firstly online bookable, but also suitable for FIT customers (fully independent travellers), there are currently many group products available. Not only is it essential to make these products online bookable, but also to integrate API’s across the most commonly used systems and platforms available to both global channels and local marketplaces.

Education & Collaboration

And finally, education and collaboration. Becoming a Smart Destination relies heavily on strong partnerships and getting different companies, regions and DMOs to work together. In addition to this, education is also important. Visit Finland will carry out co-creation workshops and pilots with groups of companies and DMOs, letting everyone know about the current status of digital, as well as the opportunities and challenges.  Sharing the best learnings nationwide, both good and bad, to then scale and action across the industry.

This is is a keynote that isn’t to be missed! Find out more about DTTT Global and a whole host of brilliant speakers here, or if you are unable to make the event, sign up to our Launchpad for further insight and examples from Kaisa. 

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