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2018/02/05 4:40pm

Kainuu at Brussels Christmas Market 2018

Hannoverin joulutori
The Winter Wonders Christmas Market in Brussels is one of the biggest Christmas market events in Europe, annually inviting a celebrated country to participate. This year the celebrated guest is Finland. The city of Brussels, Visit Finland and the Regional Council of Kainuu in Northern Finland have agreed of the concept to be realised.

During the busy event weeks in Brussels, in the heart of the EU, Finnish culture is offered with the Kainuu twist.

Kainuu will bring Kalevala Spirit Oy's Finnish Christmas Market, which has long traditions in the German Christmas market, to Brussels. The Finnish Christmas Market will include authentic elements such as live fire, real spruce trees, Finnish style mulled wine and blazed salmon. The Kainuu tourist attractions such as the wilderness, the Hossa National Park, the snowy winters and the special winter light will be presented at the event, but also other success stories from Kainuu, like wood construction and game industry.

- The event is a unique opportunity to make the international tourism destinations/ products and and the know-how related to the top industries of the region known. The event will accelerate the internationalization and cooperation of the Kainuu tour operators. Our objective is also to start permanent co-operation in international tourism marketing between Kainuu and Visit Finland, explains Pentti Malinen, Regional Mayor of Kainuu, the motives of the region to commit to the Brussels Christmas event.

Finland is Made Known as an Interesting Tourism Destination

About 2,5 million people visit the Brussels Christmas market annually, one third of visitors being inhabitants of the city, one third other Belgians and one third international visitors. This year the event will take place from 30 November 2018 till 6 January 2019.

– Visit Finland sees Finland's visibility in such well-known, big events important in raising Finland's reputation and attractiveness in the market area concerned. Since there is enough time until the start of the event, it is possible to produce a special product selection suitable for the market in cooperation with Kainuu and to find good sales channels, says Heli Saari, Account Manager Europe, Visit Finland Global Sales Promotion.

The Belgian Tourism to Finland Growing 

In 2017, Belgian tourists were reported to have more than 60 000 overnight stays in Finland, which is 13 % more than during the previous year. Finland has gained a strong position in Belgium as a winter destination. Coming to the summer season tourism, Finland still has a lot to improve comparing to the tourism flow to other Nordic Countries. The preconditions to growth are good because the strengths of Finland meet many of the current international trends, such as nature experiences and wellness tourism, that are used to balance the busy everyday life. According to the Visit Finland Study* the Belgian tourists are interested in the nature and in the summertime especially combining the active kind of holiday with relaxation.

More Information

Pentti Malinen, Regional Mayor, the Regional Council of Kainuu
+358 44 797 0197,

Heli Saari, Account Manager Europe, Visit Finland Global Sales Promotion | Business Finland
+358 40 5642780,

*) Visit Finland Segmentation Study 2017

The Kainuu region consists of 8 municipalities, that also form the Regional Council of Kainuu. The population of Kainuu is approximately 74 790 inhabitants. The size of our region is comparable to Belgium. The distance from the Finnish capital Helsinki is about 568 km, from Oulu about 181 km and from Brussels approximately 2 000 km.

The regional councils in Finland have two main functions laid down by law: regional development and regional land use planning. The councils are the regions' key international actors and they are largely responsible for the EU's Structural Fund programmes and their implementation. Regional councils also have the key role in promoting the region's interests. The regional council protects the region's culture and traditions in many ways by networking with the actors in the region and in the same fields to promote the well-being or the region in a broad meaning. Read more in English at:

Visit Finland works to develop Finland’s travel image and helps Finnish travel companies to internationalize, develop, sell and market high-quality travel products. Visit Finland cooperates with travel destination regions, businesses in the travel industry and other export promoters and embassies. The travel income from abroad, equivalent of export activities, was estimated at EUR 3.9 billion in 2016. Visit Finland is part of Business Finland.

Business Finland is a public organisation creating new growth by supporting companies to go global, as well as funding innovations. Business Finland employes 600 expert at 40 offices around the world and at 20 regional offices in Finland. Business Finland is a part of Team Finland network.

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