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The commissioner of the thesis was Finnish Rokua Geopark Co. which belongs to worldwide Geopark network. The corporation works in Rokua national park area in the field of nature tourism and provides a large range of wellness and welfare services as well as nature activities. The purpose of this research was to map out how well German cross-country skiers and hikers can be reached through Internet marketing and social media. Moreover, consumer buying process and motivational factors on traveling after a hobby were discovered. The theoretical foundation presented the background for the afore-mentioned subjects and formed a basis to empirical research which consisted of email interviews that were done in accordance to qualitative research methods.
The research results showed that the best way to reach German nature tourists through Internet marketing is to co-operate with the German organizations and associations that are focusing on nature tourism. On the other hand, the hobbyists believed that social media can be primarily used for reaching younger hobbyist groups. For instance, organization’s own blog was perceived efficient, especially if there is a possibility to find it in one’s own language. The motivational factors of the hobbyists when choosing a certain destination were diverse but the most important motivator was mentioned to be friends or relatives’ recommendation on a certain travel destination.
This research works as a report for the commissioner on what are the ways to reach German target groups more efficiently through Internet marketing as well as social media by focusing on answering their needs. The obtained results can be utilized to develop current marketing tactics in order to get foreign target groups to find Rokua Geopark easier and become interested in it as a travel destination. Overall, this thesis is only directional due to its small amount of participants and thus, additional research is needed in order to reach a generalized overview. The future research could possibly be conducted with quantitative research method. However, through this study a specific development proposal was revealed as a need of increasing co-operation with local organizations and travel agencies. Therefore, foreign companies have a chance to stand out from the masses on German’s wide-spread nature tourism market.