Mark Wiltshear from Xport shares a recent e-mail exchange, and suggests ways to make your services attractive to tourists from overseas (and closer to home.)
As well as my work at Xport, I also record the Explore Finland Radio Show podcast & blog and I write a regular blog for Visit Seinäjoki. In both cases, I often contact ask people for an interview or information.
For my latest Visit Seinäjoki post Mark’s Winter Tips, I wanted to write about snow shoe walking. A contact at Etelä-Pohjanmaan Matkailu suggested a Seinäjoki company, that might be able to help. When I wrote to ask if they offer this activity, this was the reply:
“…My customers are Finnish companies and Finnish people and they sometimes bring foreign customers or friends.
I have had my company now 8 years and I haven’t had even one individual foreign customer in that time.
Unfortunately in this area of Finland we don`t have tourists at all.”
Really? No tourists in the Etelä-Pohjanmaa region? This stopped me in my tracks and made me think…
Mark Wiltshear compares his experiences booking his two short breaks in summer 2017; a two-night city break in Estonia, and a two-night camping trip in Finland, and finds that Finland’s smaller accommodation still has room for improvement when it comes to appealing to visitors from another country (like him.)
“Improved English language information, better quality images of well-dressed accommodation, and a simple online booking system would be a good start.”
Telttailua, saunomista, festareita ja urheilua – kun puhutaan suomalaisuudesta, on Mark Wiltshear lähes ammattilainen. Esittelemme teille kaksi tapaa, joilla Mark kannustaa ihmisiä vierailemaan Suomessa: kirjoittamalla blogia ja julkaisemalla radio-ohjelmaa podcastin muodossa.
Mark looking for more potential tourists (photo courtesy of Into Seinäjoki)
Camping, sauna, summer festivals and sports – you could say Mark Wiltshear has become something of an expert on all things Finnish. Here we introduce you to two ways that Mark encourages more people to visit Finland: with a regular blog and a podcast radio show.Read more
The Xport Associates group, international skills in Etelä-Pohjanmaa
This post is adapted from an earlier article in the online magazine ‘Ostrobothnia in English‘ written in June 2015.
It is often said that there is a strong Entrepreneurial spirit in Etelä-Pohjanmaa. I didn’t really understand what that meant until we started Xport at the beginning of 2014. I certainly didn’t know that I might have some of that spirit in me. As soon as we announced Xport to the world, people would say ‘Oh, you should speak to my friend’ and that friend would then take the time to offer some advice of their own, trying to help us find our first customers.
That is what gives South Ostrobothnia its unique business environment.
At first I found it funny to hear people using this word so often, ‘how does cooperating help us grow our business’ I thought. I have learned, though, that cooperation does lead to business.