Helsinki Senate Square. Photo: Jussi Hellsten

The guiding principles for the development of tourism and events in Helsinki are vitality, sustainability, smartness and functionality

The City of Helsinki will continue to invest heavily in tourism and events and wants to show the way towards an even more sustainable, smart, vibrant and functional city for tourism and events.

To ensure that this goal is achieved, a new Helsinki tourism and events programme has been created, which sets out the strategic objectives and development conditions for tourism and events development work for the period 2022-2026. At the same time, it concretises the guidelines of the Helsinki City Strategy for the development of the tourism and events sectors in the coming years The Action Plan also follows the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs).

"The Tourism and Events Action Plan specifically outlines the different roles of city actors as enablers and facilitators of growth and regeneration. The plan also describes the tools that the city can offer to tourism- and events operators Our aim is to help businesses in the sector to grow and innovate, and thus enliven the city even more," says Tourist Director Nina Vesterinen.

Helsinki is Finland’s most important tourist destination and event city. The impact of tourism and events is also important for the attractiveness and vitality of the city centre. At the same time, experiences are created for both residents and visitors to Helsinki. Events can also be used effectively to strengthen the city’s reputation and brand, while creating a genuine local culture.

“The aim of the Action Plan is for the whole tourism and events sector to benefit from its implementation. This means tourist and event-goers, local businesses and other industry players, as well as all Helsinki residents. Cooperation and continuous dialogue with companies and other actors are key to the success of the plan,” says Sanna Forsström, Head of Brand of the the City of Helsinki.

“The emphasis on sustainable tourism is a differentiating factor and competitive advantage for Helsinki Our goal is to make Helsinki the most sustainable tourist destination in the world. At the same time, we also want to emphasise the well-being of Helsinki residents as the starting point for everything we do,” says Nina Vesterinen.

The Action Plan in a nutshell: Aiming for sustainable growth and increasing the attractiveness of the city

The Helsinki City Council's Business Chamber approved the program at its meeting on 9 May 2022 and it was unveiled at the Helsinki Tourism Seminar on 11 May 2022. Helsinki tourism and events programme implements three main strategic objectives. They are:

  1. Helsinki is a vibrant and internationally attractive city for tourism and events

The City of Helsinki invests particularly in attracting international tourists to the city. At the same time, Helsinki wants to support and strengthen the events scene so that there is a steady flow of events in the city all year round and in different parts of the city. The city is also aiming to strengthen Helsinki’s attractiveness as an organiser of international congresses and major events.

  1. Helsinki is an international pioneer and solution provider in sustainability, tourism and events

Helsinki takes environmental sustainability and carbon neutrality into account in all tourism- and event -related development activities. Helsinki aims to make sustainable choices and active efforts to reduce consumption and optimise operations into a part of the everyday life of all tourism and event operators. Emphasising sustainable development also means taking social sustainability and inclusiveness into account in the city’s activities. In practice, this means a more individual approach to a wide range of target groups.

  1. Helsinki is a smart destination and a functional event city

Helsinki invests in management through information. The city’s smartness and functionality also mean that the needs of tourism and events are better taken into account in the city’s decision-making. A key practical measure is the implementation of a comprehensive map-based development plan for tourism and events, which defines long-term objectives for the development of event areas and tourism activities in Helsinki. At the same time, Helsinki also wants to support the digitalisation of tourism and events businesses and ensure that the city continues to be the best possible platform for new innovations and partnerships.

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