Tourism has increased significantly in the Finnish cities of Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa and Lahti, the co-hosts of the ongoing World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 event. According to the Finnish Tourist Board, the number of overnight stays in Finland increased by more than 11% during the period January – May, despite the slowing down of the global tourism business this year. Tourism has been growing faster in Finland than in the other Nordic countries this year.
Compared to 2011, overnight stays have increased by 3.5% in Helsinki, 22.3% in Espoo, 4.5% in Vantaa and 32.8% in Lahti. The World Design Capital theme has also attracted more day visitors like cruise passengers to the cities. The number of passengers going through the Port of Helsinki has grown by 5% during the first half of the year. It is estimated that about 400,000 international cruise passengers will visit Helsinki this year, which would be an all-time record.
This year Helsinki has also hosted the Ice Hockey World Championships and the European Athletics Championships, which have also contributed to giving the city more visibility in the international media than ever before. “We believe that the positive effects that this year is having on the image of Helsinki will continue to be felt for many years to come,” says Katrilena Eklöf, Tourist Director at the City of Helsinki.
A new record for tourism in Helsinki was set last year with about 3.4 million overnight stays, representing 6% growth over the previous year.
Sources: Markkinointi & Mainonta, City of Helsinki