Finland is a highly attractive conference destination. During their stay in Finland, international conference visitors spend four times more than average tourists. In addition to generating income, conferences also boost innovation and investments in the long term.
International conferences are a major source of income for Finland. Last year, they generated about 130 million euros in tourism income. This sum has been growing steadily throughout the 2010s. In 2010, conferences generated a total of 72 million euros and in 2013 already 117 million euros.
A typical conference delegate stays in Finland for an average of five days and spends about 1,635 euros (including accommodation) during the visit. The figures are taken from surveys conducted in collaboration with Taloustutkimus.
– The time and money spent in this country are the two factors that make conference delegates so interesting for Finland. A five-day visit is between two and three days longer than a visit by an average tourist. Moreover, conference delegates spend between four and five times more money during their stay than ordinary tourists. According to Leena Sipilä, Convention Director at Finland Convention Bureau, these are substantial sums for which there is intense competition among world countries.
Finland remains a highly attractive conference destination. Finland was ranked 19th in the annual statistics of the Union of International Associations (UIA). Helsinki moved up two places and was listed 18th in the city rankings. A total of 181 countries and 1,465 cities are included in the list.
High degree of expertise an important attractiveness factor
Last year Finland hosted a total of 708 conferences, which had almost 80,000 participants. This is twice as many as ten years ago and the last three years have been record-breaking. In addition to safety, effectiveness and a fascinating location, Finland can also rely on a number of areas of excellence as a conference destination.
- Finland is a strong player in many sectors of science. We have 21 universities and other higher education institutions, we have an innovative IT cluster and we are pioneers in corporate responsibility. The presence of scientific communities is extremely important when international conferences are seeking a host country, Leena Sipilä explains.
Most of the conferences held in Finland deal with the following categories: medical and health technology, IT sector, natural sciences and mathematics, and business, industries and communications in general.
- It should also be remembered that in addition to generating direct income, all conferences also provide the host country with more intangible benefits. Most of the people attending international conferences are top experts in the fields in question and it is extremely important to show them the level of expertise and excellence that Finland possesses. In the long run, they help Finland to attract innovations, investments and trade. Besides, conferences also help Finland to build its image. All this means that we should give conferences a high priority, concludes Sipilä.