Helsinki climbs to 15 th spot in UIA rankings of congress cities

The Union of International Associations (UIA) published its annual congress city statistics at the start of this week. Helsinki is now the most popular city for international association meetings in the Nordic region.

©: Sitra, Sari Gustafsson: World Circular Economy Forum

The latest statistics published by the Union of International Associations (UIA) cover congress events held in 2016. Accordingly, 286 international association meetings attended by 60,790 congress visitors were held last year in Helsinki. These congresses generated almost EUR 115 million in tourism income for the Finnish capital.

“Helsinki is now the most popular congress city in the Nordic region and the 10th most popular in Europe. Stockholm is in 16th and Copenhagen in 18th position. Altogether the statistics published by the UIA cover 1459 cities,” says Ines Antti-Poika, Convention Director at Helsinki Marketing.

Helsinki to host major allergology congress in June

From 17 to 21 June 2017 Helsinki will be hosting the world’s biggest annual scientific meeting in the field of allergology and clinical immunology. The annual congress of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI 2017) is expected to bring almost 7000 participants to the Messukeskus Helsinki, Expo and Convention Centre, and it will generate over 12 million euros in tourism income for Helsinki.

“International association meetings are an important source of income for Helsinki. According to a delegate survey commissioned by the Finland Convention Bureau in 2016, individual congress delegates spend an average of 1750 euros during their stay in Helsinki,” Ines Antti-Poika explains.

In addition to generating tourism income, international association meetings also serve as the basis for important interactions and events.

“For example, a charity fun run is being organised in connection with EAACI 2017. The idea behind the Allergy Run is to increase awareness about allergies and to raise funds for allergy research and education,” Antti-Poika says.

The Allergy Run will take place on Sunday 18 June at 8pm at Töölönlahti. The start and finish are at the Telia 5G arena, and the distances are 2.5 and 5 kilometres. Runners should sign up in advance.

“It’s great to see how social responsibility and participation in the local community are seen as being increasingly important among congress organisers. These days many congresses include public lectures and other open events where people can meet the delegates, network and do good deeds while also enjoying the summer in Helsinki,” Antti-Poika comments.

“These kinds of events also generate publicity for the associations outside the congress venue and help bring the content of these meetings into the public arena,” she adds.

The World Circular Economy Forum (#WCEF2017) organised by the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra and its partners attracted even more participants than anticipated this week. The topical issue and top speakers brought 1500 participants from 105 countries to Finlandia Hall from 5 to 7 June to discuss the UN’s sustainable development targets.

Helsinki’s ranking in the UIA’s congress statistics in recent years:

2010             23rd

2011             25th

2012             14th

2013             20th

2014             18th

2015             24th

2016             15th


Congress highlights this summer in Helsinki:


Further information:

Helsinki Marketing
Ines Antti-Poika, Convention Director
+358 50 386 3472

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Helsinki Marketing is a company owned by the City of Helsinki. It is responsible for operative city marketing and business partnerships for Helsinki. Helsinki Marketing interacts with local residents, visitors, decision-makers and experts.