Helsinki attracts over 30,000 congress visitors this summer

Helsinki continues to be one of the most popular congress cities in the world. According to the latest Union of International Associations (UIA) statistics, Helsinki is ranked 24th. Over 30,000 people attended international association meetings in Helsinki between May and August 2016.

Photo: Katri Pyynönen

Alongside the thousands of cruise visitors, the large number of congress visitors has added to the international atmosphere in the Finnish capital this summer. International association meetings with more than 500 participants each have included the Congress of the International Council on Combustion Engines ( 28th CIMAC World Congress ), the 40th Nordic Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology ( NFOG 2016 ), the international convention of the Jehovah's Witnesses , the ICANN56 Policy Forum (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) , Annual Meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology ( ESHRE 2016 ) and the European Association of Urban History’s 13th International Conference on Urban History held at the end of August.

“Congress organisers are clearly interested in Helsinki, and there is a lot of demand also for the coming years. For example, we are already working on projects for congresses to be held in 2023,” says Kaiju Pitkänen , Convention Director at the Helsinki Convention & Events Bureau.

Helsinki’s advantages include its reliability, high-quality services, excellent connections, stable conditions and cleanliness.

“Our ability to attract major congresses is also facilitated by the high standard or research in many scientific fields,” Pitkänen adds.

Last year Helsinki attracted 275 international association meetings that were attended by more than 35,200 people and generated 66.5 million euros in tourism income for the city.

“Although we are still in the middle of the current congress season, we expect excellent figures also for this year based on the busy summer we have had.”

Helsinki’s accommodation capacity continues to grow, which is good news for congress organisers. The Clarion Hotel Helsinki (425 rooms) opens in October and the Hotel St. George (150 rooms) next summer.

In June 2017 Helsinki will host the world’s biggest annual scientific meeting in the field of allergology and clinical immunology. Almost 8000 people are expected to attend the annual congress of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI 2017) to be held at Messukeskus Helsinki, Expo and Convention Centre. The congress is expected to generate over 15 million euros in tourism income for Helsinki.

“A single congress visitor generates an average of 1887 euros in tourism income for Helsinki. It’s good that the economic benefits of congress tourism are now being recognised,” Pitkänen adds.

Invitation to media representatives

How international congresses and corporate events generate growth for Finland – Morning event at Finlandia Hall on Friday 2 September 2016

International events, such as corporate meetings, incentive tours and congresses, are all part of foreign trade. Their impact on the economy should be defined not only by means of tourism indicators but also in terms of their multiplier effects and as investments in actual euros. International congress visitors spend on average four times the amount of money during their stay than the average visitor does. Furthermore, congresses may lead to new innovations and investments in the longer term.

Finland has enjoyed a lot of success in international surveys recently, but how can we ensure that our services remain competitive in the international markets also in the future?

We invite you to Finlandia Hall to listen to decision-makers and industry representatives discuss their views.

The morning event will be opened by Kai Mykkänen , Minister of Foreign Trade and Development. Other speakers will include Paavo Virkkunen , Director of Visit Finland, and Fiona Pelham , Managing Director of Sustainable Events.

Event: How international congresses and corporate events generate growth for Finland

Date, time and place: Friday 2 September 2016, 8:30am–10:30am, Finlandia Hall, Helsinki

Media representatives do not need to register in advance for this event.

Contact person for the event: Congress Specialist Mervi Toivonen , Finland Convention Bureau / Finpro Oy, +358 50 554 5050.

Further information:
Kaiju Pitkänen, Convention Director, Helsinki Convention & Events Bureau, ,
tel. +358 40 358 1718

Helsinki Convention & Events Bureau and Visit Helsinki are marketing names used by Helsinki Marketing Ltd, a city-owned company that is responsible for the city’s marketing operations.