Nordic expands further into the French market and becomes co-owner of the lodges of Explore the North in Lapland

Press Release
Londerzeel, Belgium, May 3, 2024

Nordic expands further into the French market and becomes co-owner of the lodges of Explore the North in Lapland

Travel organization Nordic – part of the Nordic Collection group and currently active on the Belgian, Dutch and German market – continues their expansion in Europe as they enter the French market. Following the acquisition of Askja Reizen in the Dutch market earlier this month, Nordic has acquired the French company Nord Espaces. Nord Espaces is a tour operator specializing in trips to Scandinavia, with more than 30 years of experience on the French market. In addition to this new acquisition, Nordic also becomes co-owner of the lodges of Explore the North, a partner they have been working with exclusively for their winter trips to Lapland for many years.

Scandinavia increasingly popular as a holiday destination

Interest in the Far North has increased strongly in recent years. The pandemic and geopolitical events have led to new destination choices by European travelers, who are also attracted by the lifestyle of the Scandinavian countries and unique experiences, pristine nature, and natural phenomena such as the northern lights or the midnight sun.

Before the pandemic, Nordic realized a turnover of approximately 30 million with about 40 employees. During the pandemic, Nordic has invested heavily in digitization, process optimization and, due to the increasing popularity of Scandinavian destinations, the Nordic Collection group expects to achieve a turnover of over 150 million euros with about 180 employees by 2025.

Nordic takes first steps on the French market

While Nordic has so far been mainly active on the Belgian, Dutch, and German markets, the company is now expanding to France with the acquisition of a partner who is already an established organization within the tourism sector in France: Nord Espaces. Thanks to the extensive network of partners in Scandinavia that Nordic has developed over the years, Nord Espaces will be able to better meet the desires of its travelers. Nordic and Nord Espaces are also convinced that, thanks to the combination of their expertise, they can establish a strong position in the French market.

“The acquisition of Nord Espaces fits perfectly within the vision of Nordic. We share the French language, common values, a European legal framework, and above all a great passion for the Far North,” says Philip Timmermans, CEO of Nordic.

“I have always led Nord Espaces from a company culture based on trust, ethics, and passion. Values that are shared by the teams at Nordic. I am therefore passing the baton to Kathy Stoffen, head of Nordic France and Wallonia, with peace of mind so that Nord Espaces can take its next steps,” adds André Zander, manager of Nord Espaces.

A threefold alliance: Nordic – Nord Espaces – Explore the North

Additionally, Nordic also takes an important strategic decision to become co-owner of the lodges of Explore the North in Lapland, their largest supplier. The collaboration with owners Johan and Sara Vaisanen started in 2012 with the construction of the first Explore the North lodge: the Pinetree Lodge. A real gem hidden in the middle of the forests of Swedish Lapland. Over the past twelve years, Nordic and Explore the North have continued this successful formula with four new accommodations. Soon a sixth will be added to this list.

For years, the unique lodges have been an important part of Nordic’s offer in Belgium and the Netherlands, and with the introduction of Nordic on the German market in 2022, German customers have also found their way to these special accommodations. Now with the acquisition of Nord Escpaces, France is added as the fourth market. Nordic will already start to offer its products in France in the winter of ’24-’25, with a direct flight from Orly (Paris) to Lapland.

About Nordic Collection

Nordic Collection is the organization behind eleven renowned travel brands, including Nordic, specialized in travel to Scandinavia from Belgium and the Netherlands. Nordic was founded in 2008 by CEO Maarten Raes under the name ‘Nordic Info’. Since then, the company has grown significantly and has added various brands to its portfolio under the overarching name ‘Nordic Collection’. Nordic Collection now boasts eleven brands with destinations all over the world: Nordic, Galtic, Atacama, MyHimalaya, Canada Travel Designers, Wild Alaska, Beyond Borders, Askja, VNC Asia Travel, FLY and BiKE and now also Nord Espaces.

About Nordic

Nordic, a part of Nordic Collection, is the market leader in Belgium for Scandinavia trips and offers a wide range of authentic travel experiences in Scandinavia and beyond. With more than 100 passionate employees, Nordic is active on the Belgian, Dutch, and German market, focused on providing unforgettable journeys in nature.

About Nord Espaces

Nord Espaces, located in the 14th arrondissement in Paris, is a French tour operator specializing in trips to the Far North. With expertise in destinations like Finland, Iceland, Greenland, and Spitsbergen, the company has built a strong reputation in France, both among professionals in the tourism sector, as well as the press and, of course, its customers. Nord Espaces also has expertise in South America under the brand Espaces Andins®.

About Explore The North

Explore The North was once started by Johan and Sara Vaisanen and is a holding with five different lodges in Swedish Lapland that are part of the Nordic offer: the Pinetree Lodge, the Aurora Mountain Lodge, the Arctic River Lodge, the Lapland View Lodge, and the Grand Arctic Hotel. The 6th lodge will be built in 2024-2025 and promises to be another gem.