Henrik Koch discusses three important things to keep in mind when branding your product or destination in the Nordics.
The Nordic travelers – Swedes, Danes, Norwegians and Finns – are among the most generous travel spenders in the world. According to the latest UNWTO Tourism Barometer published in March 2018, the Nordic region is ranked fifth in terms of outbound travel spending in 2017 with a total of €42.8 billion. The barometer also shows that Nordic inhabitants now “only” spend €13.3 billion less than U.K. residents on traveling – the year before, the difference between these two markets was €17.4 billion.
That the Nordic market is now ranked number five globally is due to both the fact that the Nordic travelers are among the highest in-market spenders in the world (€1,662 per citizen) – and also the fact that Nordic people are among the most frequent travelers in the world.
Therefore, more and more tourism boards, hotels, DMCs and other travel organizations from all over the world are looking toward the Nordics. But how should you as a travel brand approach them? Here are three important things to keep in mind when branding your product or destination in the Nordics.
1. One region, four markets
Although there are many similarities between the four Nordic countries, they still need to be treated as four different markets in terms of messaging, approach, dos and don’ts, and legislation. For example, how do journalists prefer to be approached? How is the humor – what can you make fun of in campaigns? What is important for travelers when choosing a destination? What kind of competitions can be conducted legally? How do companies in each country usually book their MICE travels? The answers to these questions differ from country to country. Staying aware of the differences – and the similarities – between the countries is really important when planning and executing all kinds of activities to secure great ROI.
2. Authentic and relevant messaging
One of the key ideas when communicating to Nordic travelers is authenticity. Approaching travelers with relevant and authentic messages – preferably tailored to meet their specific interests, whether it’s nature, food, fashion, history, art, value for money or sun guarantee – is very important. Further, the communication needs to be credible so that what they hear, read and see will also be what they actually experience at the destination. In other words, if you got it, flaunt it – but if you don’t, Nordic travelers will quickly find out, and lies will have a negative impact on your image.
3. Cultural experiences are key
All Nordic travelers are cultural travelers in the sense that the majority of people prefer their holidays to have a touch of culture, authenticity and engagement with the locals. This is backed by several surveys: 39 percent of all Scandinavians traveling abroad say that the main purpose of their trip is to have cultural experiences – and a recent survey among Danes shows that 75 percent find local experiences and unique historical attractions to be the most crucial factors when choosing their travel destination.
The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency member of Travel Consul