Helsinki starts to manage its visitor experience with a new management model
Helsinki is starting to manage its visitor experience in an increasingly systematic and targeted way to ensure that tourists and event-goers will have a positive visitor experience when visiting the city. The concept of the visitor experience management model has been developed by Digitalist Finland Oy under the guidance of a steering group formed by the Helsinki Tourism and Destination Management Unit. The development work has involved a wide range of stakeholders and operators in the tourism and events sectors. The development of the visitor experience management model started in November 2022, and the concept was finalised in April 2023. The aim is to start collecting data from visitors in early July 2023.
Visitor experience refers to the overall experience a visitor has in a tourist destination, influenced by a number of factors such as tourist attractions, cultural offerings, food culture, accommodation options, ease of mobility, and safety. With the visitor experience management model, the City of Helsinki wants to create a basis for the measures the city can take to improve the visitor experience across sectors and together with the private sector. Helsinki considers visitor experience management to be a central element in promoting tourism and events and building the city’s brand.
The strategic development plan for the visitor experience is based on the city’s Tourism and Events Programme 2022–2026, which was used as the basis for establishing visitor promises when developing the management model. These promises describe the desired experience that the city wants to offer its visitors.
The development process will help the city to keep up to date with the realisation of the visitor promises and the evolution of its visitors’ needs and expectations. The stakeholder cooperation model promotes cooperation between the city and its external stakeholders and helps ensure that all parties are working towards common goals.
Tourist bus services
The demand for tourist bus services has grown in recent years due to the tourism growth. The Tourist Bus Service Development Plan (pdf, in Finnish) has been prepared for Helsinki’s tourist bus services. It includes a comprehensive examination of the current situation, identification of development needs and solutions proposals, such as international mapping. The objective of the development is to provide tourists with easy alternative modes of transport to explore the city and ensure smooth tourist bus services for the appropriate target groups to see Helsinki.
The need for new public toilets has been identified. The number of public toilets has already been increased and more are on the way. Sibelius Park, for example, has a new public toilet in addition to the old one. Cleaning of the public toilets at Sibelius Park has been increased during the summer season due to the high number of users. More information on the development of public toilets can be read in Jukka Punamäki's blog post Tourism and Toilets 2020(Link leads to external service) (in Finnish).
In the City Guidance Ecosystem project, Helsinki, Tampere and Turku developed their guidance together with companies and interest groups through a shared innovation platform. The project ended in 2019 and resulted in the concept of smart city guidance and the joint city guidance handbook for the 6Aika cities. The new Smart City Guidance in Helsinki project was launched in 2021.