Helsinki Tourism Reports Increasing Interest in Design Attractions
The number of visitors to Helsinki Region Tourist Information at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport increased year-on-year by over 20 percent during the period of January to August. A total of 167,700 visitors used the services at Helsinki Region Tourist Information during this period. During the peak season, the office served over 1,100 customers a day.
“Visitors have clearly shown more interest in our design attractions this year. Foreign visitors in particular are keen to find out about the must-see design attractions and special events during our year as World Design Capital,” said Sanna Salonen, senior information officer at Helsinki Region Tourist Information. In response to the growth in demand, the office has just been refurbished to make it even more functional. In addition to dispensing tourist information, the office also supplies other travel products, such as the Helsinki Card and Helsinki Region Transport tickets. A new product this summer has been the Helsinki Card Region, whose benefits include the right to use public transport within the entire region. The brochures and iPads at the office are available to customers 24 hours a day, while information officers work daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the summer season and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the winter season.
The growing popularity of Helsinki Region Tourist Information has helped to ease congestion somewhat at the other tourist information locations in the city center. Nevertheless, the World Design Capital theme year kept information officers busy during the peak season, answering questions about all the related events, sights and attractions. The main office on Pohjoisesplanadi by the Market Square served up to 1,900 customers a day this past summer, and many other customers have used Tourist Information services also at the Central Railway Station, the cruise ship terminal at Hernesaari, and the Info Container in the Market Square.
“We have been telling visitors to all our Tourist Information locations about the diverse program of World Design Capital Helsinki 2012. It seems that every other customer mentions design when asking for tips and ideas. The program has been very accessible to tourists, and many new attractions have appeared that will continue to interest visitors for years to come,” said Nina Lager, senior information officer, referring in particular to the Chapel of Silence at Kamppi and the Abattoir, a new center for food culture. In addition, tourists have also shown a strong interest in meeting the locals and finding out about local favorites.
This summer, the Helsinki City Tourist and Convention Bureau’s mobile tourist advisers, the Helsinki Helpers, served 129,500 customers, which is very close to the previous record set last year. Approximately 85 percent of their customers were foreign tourists. Their summer season began on Helsinki Day, June 12, and ended on Aug. 26. In addition to patrolling the streets and parks, the Helsinki Helpers were on hand to greet cruise ship passengers when they disembarked at port and from their shuttle busses in the city. The Helsinki Helpers also served around 34,000 customers at the Info Container in the Market Square, and they were also on hand three times a day to greet passengers off the train from Russia.