In April the fast food chain McDonalds flew 1200 of its employees and entrepreneurs from Central Europe to Rovaniemi, the capital of Finnish Lapland, making it the biggest incentive travel group during the past five years Finland. Preparations for the four-day visit took two years and involved cooperation between 50 Finnish companies and the destination management company Wild North. A snow restaurant was constructed specially for the McDonald’s group.
“The incentive travel business has started growing again after the recession as companies want to reward their clients and increase the commitment of their employees,” says Johanna Tolonen, director of the nature adventure tour operator Wild North which hosted the McDonald’s group.
About 90% of the international incentive travel to Finland is directed to Lapland, according to Tolonen. “This is because of Lapland’s unique winter activities and spectacular scenery, as well as its high quality tourism infrastructure and professionalism,” she says. Wild North is a nature adventure tour operator owned by Metsähallitus, a Finnish state enterprise that administers more than 12 million hectares of state-owned land and water areas.
Incentive travel groups spend between four to five times more in the target country than ordinary holiday-makers. Ari Vuorentausta, director of the Lapland Hotels chain, says that most of the incentive travel clients are European companies . In addition to Rovaniemi, their other favourite destinations are Saariselkä and Levi.
Source: YLE, STT