Culture boosts travel and business in Helsinki

Helsinki is one of the up-and-coming cultural cities on the international radar spurred on by World Design Capital 2012 honours. The city already has a thriving museum scene and now the pocket-sized metropolis is considering whether a Guggenheim museum would be a good addition to the celebrated waterfront.

Amongst the museum scene we find the esteemed Amos Anderson Museum which is the largest privately funded museum in town. Communications officer Timo Riitamaa says that there is still room for growth on the private side. “Museums depend on each other kind of like restaurants the more quality restaurants you have in town, the more people there are going out to eat.”

A Culture Cluster

For Amos Anderson, the volume of experiences appears to be growing, as there were 40 000 visitors in 2013, but quite possibly 50,000 patrons this year. “If we get to build a new art museum in connection to Lasipalatsi we could conceivably hit the 100,000 visitors mark,” Mr. Riitamaa says. Lasipalatsi is a film and media center in a funtionalistic building in the heart of Helsinki.

Proximity with the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Tennis Palace Art Museum and Kunsthalle would help create a powerful culture cluster in downtown Helsinki.

Pilvi Kalhama heads the EMMA museum in the neighbouring city of Espoo. The attendance for EMMA is about 100,000 visitors a year, with international patrons constituting about 8 percent of the total. Kalhama says that the plan is to increase both the number of international and domestic visitors in the future.

Culture boosts travel and business

Finland’s travel sector has great potential for growth, currently comprising only 2.4 % of GDP, while the EU average is 6 %.

Around the world, cultural clusters have become catalysts of a wholesome creative economy, involving a higher attractiveness for tourists, talent, and, ultimately, knowledge intensive enterprises.

Furthermore, culture may contribute to a more balanced and sustainable urban development. Culture has been deployed successfully in urban revitalisation projects in degraded urban areas throughout the developed world. It also serves as an equalizer, providing an opportunity for personal development and social interaction among weaker groups.

Source: Real Estate Annual Finland 2014