Top 5 Finnish cities by number of international congress attendees in 2016:
- Helsinki 60 790
- Tampere 10 797
- Turku 6 299
- Jyväskylä 4 540
- Oulu 4 208
“In recent years, the annual number of congress visitors in Finland has most often settled at a little less than 80 000,” says Mervi Toivonen, from Finpro’s Finland Convention Bureau. “The main catalyst for such growth is an exceptionally busy year, with large international congresses that draw thousands of delegates.
According to Toivonen, the results underline the long-term work of Finland in attracting international congresses. In future, keeping up with the current growth rate requires, among other things, upholding the appropriate hotel capacity.
“It is not an easy task to attract events like these to Finland,” Toivonen comments. “The application processes are typically long and international competition fierce.”
Besides, international congress attendees have a significant economic effect. A single congress delegate spends on average 1 635 euros during a visit to Finland. That is four-to-five times more than a regular tourist does. Thus, the 101 000 congress attendees of 2016 spent almost 166 million euros in Finland.
Helsinki and Tampere fared especially well during the busy congress year, forming the top duo of Finnish cities by number of congress attendees. Turku, Jyväskylä and Oulu rounded out the top five.
The amount of international congress attendees in Helsinki grew by 72 percent in 2016. In Tampere, the growth rate also soared, at 45 percent.
“Globally, organizers are becoming increasingly aware of all the potential locations to stage a congress, not just the big cities and capitals,” Toivonen says. “The statistics indicate perfectly that Finland has a multitude of internationally recognized congress cities. Overall, this is excellent for Finland as a congress country.”