Home Press Releases 2016 marked a record-breaking year for international congress attendees in Finland

2016 marked a record-breaking year for international congress attendees in Finland

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Altogether 101,515 international congress attendees visited Finland in 2016. In 2015, the comparable number was a fraction less than 76,000. The increasing number of large-scale international congresses held in Finland is chiefly responsible for this immense improvement.
“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 drawing thousands of delegates.”
According to Toivonen, the results underline the long-term work Finland has put into attracting international congresses. In the future, keeping up with the current growth rate will require, among other things, appropriate hotel capacity to account for the number of visitors to the country.
“It is not an easy task to attract events like these to Finland,” Toivonen comments. “The application processes are typically long and international competition is fierce.”
Besides, international congress attendees have a significant economic impact. 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 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%in 2016. In Tampere, the growth rate also soared, at 45%.
“Globally, organisers are becoming increasingly aware of all the potential locations to stage a congress, not just in our big cities and capitals,” Toivonen says. “The statistics indicate perfectly that Finland has a multitude of internationally recognised congress cities. Overall, this is excellent for Finland as a congress country.”

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