20.8.2014

New Design at Hotel Hanasaari, Espoo

Hanasaari was created as a consistent whole in the 1970s. Designed by Professor Yrjö Sotamaa, its interior was inspired by nature, art and Finnish design. The goal was to create an innovative and modern, yet intimate and warm environment. The forms were simple, but the materials – such as wood, granite and handmade fabrics – were warm and natural, as were the colours: Sotamaa used various shades of red, brown and orange. This was unusual in modernistic buildings at the time. The building was designed by architect Veikko Malmio.

www.hanasaari.fi

 


News

14.7.2017

Finland is a country to be discovered

Delegates attending the Meeting & Incentive Forum in Helsinki said that they would absolutely consider bringing customers to Finland and spending some leisure time here, too.

The first ever Meeting & Incentive Forum in Finland was held in Helsinki on 9–13 July. The 130 experts from the international business event and congress industry did not only get a chance to meet suppliers from several countries, but also had a fantastic opportunity to see and explore Finland and its capital.

We interviewed a few of the delegates at the end of their second day at Hilton Helsinki Kalastajatorppa. None of them had ever been to Finland before and had little expectations, if any. Attending the M&I Forum in Helsinki was a good reason for them to come and to experience the destination with their own eyes.

During their two days in Helsinki they discovered a few of Helsinki’s top meeting and congress facilities and experienced a range of activities the city and the surrounding archipelago has to offer. They considered Finnish people to be friendly and welcoming and said that they would absolutely consider bringing customers to Finland and spending some leisure time here, too.

Things they said

Jo le Hec’h-Besson, International Venue Finder, Helms Briscoe, France says she is now able to propose Finland to her clients: “I wanted to come here first to see it with my own eyes, to be able to speak to my clients about Helsinki and Finland. I am very impressed by its simplicity, nature, ecology and safety – yes, it seems very safe and very clean. I am really going to talk a lot about this place!”

 

 

“Finland is about going back to the real values. We Israelis are very close to nature as well. We like trekking, cycling and doing sports… so being in such a country that has so much water and so much greenery, for us it’s like WOW! From what I’ve experienced people are very lively and all in all, it’s an extremely welcoming country. I would say: to be discovered!” says Eric Ben-Harrous, Corporate Dept Manager, Kenes International, Israel.

 

“I’m kind of exploring the North. Finland is famous for its school system and for the way of living. I’ve heard people say that ”they are doing everything right in Finland” so I thought okay, let’s have a look!” says Alexandra Seppi, Head of Congress Department, AIM Group, Austria. “I’d like to see the aurora borealis and, oh, the white nights! I’m really enjoying it, because yesterday evening I wasn’t tired! I didn’t get tired because if it’s still bright outside, why should I go to bed?”

 

“My first impressions on Finland are friendly people, a lot of nature and some really nice activities to do around”, says Andreas Miksche, Country Manager, Mertel Events, Austria after winning in a game of “Mölkky”, which is a very popular Finnish throwing game. “Yes, I refer to Mölkky, which is one of them”, he says laughingly, “but also the other things like sightseeing by tram, rib boat travel and things like that. It’s always nice to have a range of activities to offer to clients. In Finland I would target to Lapland because my clients are mostly interested in winter sports and activities.”

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10.7.2017

M&I Forum draws lucrative business events to Finland

The event will introduce many visitors to Finland, increasing awareness on international markets.

The first ever Meeting & Incentive Forum in Finland is a notable opportunity to market the country as a destination and to convince a large group of international event organisers of Finland’s offerings and services. The event is believed to bring in more business events to Finland, increasing revenue from travel.

The M&I Forum, held at Clarion Hotel Helsinki on 9–13 July, will be attended by 130 experts from the international business event and congress industry. They are looking for new, exciting venues for meetings, incentive trips, product launches and customer events. The attendees are mostly from Europe, but buyers from Asia and the Middle East are also present. These markets are especially attractive for Finland, as their potential is mostly untapped.

Seeing is believing

The visitors not only get to meet sellers from several countries, but also have a fantastic chance to see and explore Finland and its capital. The event will introduce many visitors to Finland, increasing awareness on international markets.

“The event is a great opportunity for Finnish service providers to create truly memorable experiences. It offers a chance to showcase our expertise and sell services in a very tangible manner. Positive experiences will foster our image and help Finland get on the shortlist for more future events”, Mervi Toivonen from Finpro’s Finland Convention Bureau states.

Travel industry expected to benefit significantly

Congresses and business events are universally desirable for the considerable revenue they bring to the hosting nation. These events have considerable budgets, but the attendees also spend many times more during their trip than typical holidaymakers. Successful events are bound to increase the hosting nation’s reputation and appeal among event organisers.

Previous M&I Forums are estimated to have brought in millions of euros for their hosts. The size and audience of the Helsinki Forum merit a projection of 211 of new events and €16.9 million of travel revenue for Finland, the average budget for each event being €80,000.

“Naturally, it is impossible to accurately predict the overall impact of a positive experience, but word of mouth is known to be a very effective marketing tool in the event industry. We expect the event to attract customers that would be hard to reach through other channels”, Toivonen says.

 

For more information, contact:

Mervi Toivonen, Manager, Global Sales and Business Events, Finpro, Visit Finland, Finland Convention Bureau, +358 50 554 5050, mervi.toivonen@finpro.fi

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3.7.2017

Scandic to open a hotel in Helsinki Railway Station

Scandic Hotels will open a hotel consisting of 500 rooms in the facilities in 2020, which will splendidly complement the hotel provision in Helsinki and respond to the growth in work and leisure time travel. This hotel, functioning as a Helsinki landmark, will be one of Scandic’s largest.

Scandic Hotels will open a hotel consisting of 500 rooms in the facilities in 2020, which will splendidly complement the hotel provision in Helsinki and respond to the growth in work and leisure time travel. This hotel, functioning as a Helsinki landmark, will be one of Scandic’s largest.
– For us, it is an honour to be able to open these historically significant premises to the public. We want to offer adventurous hotel stays to our clients that nurture the heritage left by Eliel Saarinen, relates Aki Käyhkö, Managing Director for Scandic Hotels Finland.
– We are satisfied and enthusiastic about the fact that we can plan and renovate the site together with Scandic. The location for the hotel is the best possible, and Scandic as the largest hotel operator in the Nordic countries is a marvellous partner in the project, Ari Talja, Exilion’s Managing Director, commented.
The main Helsinki Railway Station property was designed by Eliel Saarinen. The office premises of the Finnish Rail Administration, i.e. VR’s current head office section, were completed in 1909.

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15.6.2017

Finland is Nordic number one in congresses

Finland hosted more congresses last year than any other Nordic country. Congresses form a considerable source of revenue for the travel industry.

Finland hosted more congresses last year than any other Nordic country. Congresses form a considerable source of revenue for the travel industry.

The Union of International Associations’ yearly report declares that Finland hosted the most international congresses among the Nordic countries in 2016. Finland hosted 651 international congresses for various organisations, with a total of 101,514 attendees.

The number of congresses varies greatly year to year. Last year saw many major congresses that are not organised every year while the overall number of congresses was also high.

“We have worked hard to make Finland an attractive venue for congresses, and it shows in the statistics”, Mervi Toivonen from Finpro’s Finland Convention Bureau explains.

Solid Finnish know-how

The main reasons to organise congresses in Finland include safety, stability and strong infrastructure. When deciding on a region, one key element is accessibility.

Around 70% of the congresses were held in Helsinki, but organisers are starting to show interest for other locations as well as capital cities. The second city for congresses was Tampere, but Turku, Espoo, Jyväskylä and Oulu also hosted a number of large international congresses.

Finland has a strong international reputation when it comes to organising conventions and congresses.

“We have a committed, professional workforce with training and experience in events along with a network of volunteers. We have a genuine interest in producing welcoming, high-quality events for all. Finland is simply a joy to visit”, M.sc Tarja Kohila summarises. She has worked actively over the years to bring international congresses to Finland and has encouraged other scientists to hold their events in Finland as well.

Investment in congresses would benefit tourism in Finland

Finland has the potential to become an even more attractive destination for congresses and business events, but domestic investments have been conservative so far. One limitation for major congresses in Finland is our insufficient accommodation capacity.

“We welcome all new hotel projects with open arms. At the moment, we can organise a congress for 8,000 attendees, but that’s our limit”, Toivonen states.

Finnish university cities have their own Convention Bureaus that work tirelessly to bring large congresses to Finland. However, their staff is limited, and to make matters worse, universities have been forced to downsize their human resources, hindering their ability to compete for events.

The average congress visitor is likely to spend up to five times more on their trip than a typical tourist would. Additionally, many visitors would consider coming back for a holiday after a congress.

“We could grow our congress industry even more through investments, as our robust science communities and dependable organisers form a solid platform. The great thing is, the demand is there”, Toivonen encourages.

 

For more information, contact:

Mervi Toivonen, Manager, Global Sales and Business Events, Finpro, Visit Finland, Finland Convention Bureau, +358 50 554 5050, mervi.toivonen@finpro.fi

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