Safety in tourism and events in Helsinki

Travellers interact with many services, sites and people along their customer journey – each of which affects the sense of security the traveller experiences. Enabling safe tourism in Helsinki is an important goal for the city, and it has grown in importance as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Safety is part of the quality of services. As a rule, official instructions and rules are always followed. In addition, the goal is for all Helsinki-based tourism businesses to follow the same operating models in terms of safety. Joint operating models can be integrated into all phases of the trip, from planning to after-sales services. When all the operators in the tourism chain (logistics, restaurants, hotels, program services, events, etc.) communicate in the same way, the customer is able to enjoy a safer experience as a whole. 

Investing in safety and security brings economic benefits by increasing the city’s attractiveness and attracting new travellers to the region. Small actions and investments are often enough to achieve the goal. Increasing safety does not usually cost much but can be very profitable indeed. The benefits of safety work are directly reflected in the number of tourists and the quality of tourism.

Compass, or the Handbook for the Safety of Tourism in Helsinki, offers comprehensive safety information and instructions for operators in the tourism industry. The handbook has been created together in the project "Matkailun alueellinen johtaminen". More about the project at Completed projects (page in Finnish).

Lokikirja (pdf, in Finnish), or The Logbook is a digital tool for mapping out safety issues, and it contains the most important safety measures that a tourism company must take into account in its everyday operations. The manual was published in spring 2023.

If you are an entrepreneur, you can also take advantage of the safety materials for improving business safety by downloading the material templates from the material bank of the Sustainable Growth for Tourism: Southern Finland project.

Material bank of the Sustainable Growth for Tourism: Southern Finland project(Link leads to external service)

Helsinki Tourism and Event Safety Steering Group 2023

In accordance with Helsinki’s tourism and event safety plan, we have assembled a group of experts to form a steering group. The steering group is responsible for updating the tourism safety development plan and handbook, the realisation, monitoring and indicators of the development plan, foresight and joint response to crisis situations, with an emphasis on proactive cooperation. The group is led by the Tourism Director of the City of Helsinki Tourism and Destination Management Unit. The management group convenes twice a year or when necessary.

  • Tourism and Destination Management Unit, Chair, Tourism Director Nina Vesterinen,
  • Tourism Safety Coordinator Minna Ermala
  • The City of Helsinki Strategy Department’s Safety and Preparedness Team, Minna Liimatainen and Pertti Haapiainen
  • HUS, Eeva Ruotsalainen
  • Helsinki City Rescue Department, Sami Mård
  • Helsinki Partners, Leena Lassila
  • City of Helsinki Environmental Health Unit, Heidi Öjst
  • City of Helsinki's External Communications, Pi Krogell-Magni
  • City of Helsinki Brand and Events Unit, Päivi Munther
  • Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency, Hansel Väärälä
  • Tourism industry representative, rotating, latest Scandic

The steering group has outlined the minimum criteria for the management of tourism and event safety in Helsinki, in accordance to which annual coordination is carried out at destination-level.

  1. Roles in tourism and event safety management are clearly defined.
  2. The Tourism and Event Safety Steering Group’s operating methods and meeting schedule are agreed upon.
  3. Tourism and event safety materials are updated/up-to-date and distributed.
  4. Information on tourism and event safety is communicated to companies, e.g. the Helsingin tekijät network via the Howspace platform and Helsinki tourism services' LinkedIn page at least 4 times a year. 
  5. A safety forum or similar is organised annually.
  6. At least one workshop focusing more closely on a safety issue to be developed is organised each year.
  7. There are processes in place for the monitoring and measurement of tourism and event safety.
  8. Areas of improvement highlighted in safety monitoring are acted upon.
  9. The special needs of tourism and events have been recognised and taken into account in the City's joint safety work.
  10. The City participates in tourism and event safety events.

Tourism and event safety monitoring indexes

In spring 2023, the Tourism and Event Safety Steering Group selected the following 13 indexes to monitor the safety of tourism in Helsinki until further notice. The indexes are compiled on a shared platform in the DataLokki database(Link leads to external service) maintained by the City of Helsinki Travel and Tourism Unit. The data on the platform is updated annually, early in the year.

General safety in Finland

  • Global Terrorism Index: 0–10
  • Finland’s Nation Brand – Safety: How risky Finland is: 0–100%
  • Most LGBTQ-friendly countries: placement
  • World Happiest Country: placement

General safety in Helsinki

  • GDS Index: Personal Safety on the Social Progress Index: %
  • GDS Index: Are tourism and events taken into account in the City’s crisis management plan: Yes/no
  • Disturbance index: Crimes committed in public areas in proportion to the population
  • Number of food epidemics: pcs/year
  • Sentiment population survey 2022: Feeling of safety in Helsinki: 1–5

Visitor safety in Helsinki

  • Feeling of safety of visitors during their visit: 1–5
  • Feeling of safety of residents as regards tourism: 1–5
  • Negative safety-related references in international media: pcs
  • Tourism safety development plan measures and events realised and materials updated: Yes/no

Expert on tourism safety

"" Photographer: Sakari Röyskö

Name
Minna Ermala

Title
Senior Advisor, Tourism