The City of Helsinki has been chosen to host the annual World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) Fragrant Hills Tourism Summit in 2019. The decision was published at this year’s WTCF Fragrant Hills Tourism Summit in Los Angeles on 19 September 2017. At the same time, it was announced that Chinese Internet giant Tencent has chosen Helsinki as the partner city for its new mobile application.
Established in 2012 in Beijing, the aim of WTFC is to offer a platform for international tourism cooperation and the sustainable development of tourism. Helsinki became a part of the WTCF network in 2014. Beijing and Helsinki have been sister-cities since 2006.
“The membership has proved useful, especially in terms of business connections, as it has opened up new cooperation opportunities in China. Cities are becoming increasingly influential in the tourism industry as well and thus it is important for Helsinki to be a part of the city network,” says Helsinki Marketing CEO Laura Aalto.
This news comes as registered overnight stays at the accommodation businesses in Helsinki have more than doubled over the last five years.
In 2016, the number of registered overnight stays by Chinese visitors (incl. Hong Kong) was almost 105,000. During the first six months of 2017, the number of overnight stays by visitors from Mainland China increased by 43.6% compared to the same period last year.
The increase in the number of Chinese tourists has been supported by Finnair’s strong Asia strategy, owing to which the air service between Helsinki and China is excellent.