Helsinki Travel Award

Helsinki Travel Award 2017

Helsinki Travel Award given to Lux Helsinki and Slush Volunteers

The revenues made by the travel industry in the Helsinki region could easily be doubled according to a report Helsinki Tourism Foundation has published

This year’s Helsinki Travel Award has been awarded to Lux Helsinki light art festival and the volunteers of Slush startup event. In addition, Helsinki city bikes won a honorary award. According to the jury, Lux Helsinki ”is a brilliant lighter of the polar nights and the wintery city”, and the volunteers of Slush ”share their work effort with all the actors of Helsinki region”. In addition, Helsinki city bikes ”finely unites the need to commute with sustainable development and the ability to enjoy the city”.

”It is brilliant to notice that there are many ongoing projects in Helsinki that have a positive impact on the attractiveness of Helsinki as a tourist destination. Our award is just about that: we want to award those actors who lift Helsinki into the limelight. We wish that this kind of positive attention also serves as an incentive to others”, concludes the CEO of Helsinki Tourism Foundation, Risto Lintula.

The two 5000 euro awards were given out on Thursday 26 October, 2017 at a ceremony held at Allas Sea Pool. At the event, Helsinki Tourism Foundation launched a report on the potential of Helsinki as a tourist destination. According to the report, the revenue attained from the regional tourism industry could easily be doubled. This would bring the capital region another 3 billion euro revenue and would employ 30 000 people annually.

In the report, the present set up and basic figures of Helsinki travel industry were collected and analysed, and these key figures were compared with rival cities, such as Hamburg, Copenhagen and Stockholm. ”These cities, we compared Helsinki with, have all chosen travel as a strategically important export business, and have managed to lure significant investments in the industry. The increased hotel capacity, active marketing, the growth of the service sector and other investments has resulted in the duplication of the travel industry in ten years time, says Mikko Leisti, Deputy CEO of Helsinki Tourism Foundation.

”Helsinki has a superb opportunity to reach the same level of growth. The attractiveness of our city builds up constantly and the growth figures look very promising. All we have to do, is place tourism industry into an equally strategic position as its rival cities have placed it, and focus on finding real solutions for future growth. There is great potential for speedy growth for Helsinki” comments Leisti.

Travel is the fifth largest export industry in Finland with 14,4 billion euro turnover. It employs approximately 140 000 people. ”The investments currently made into the research, development, professional education, marketing and sales in the travel industry do not match up with with the industry’s overall impact in society. Travel industry is a significant industry, and it should be treated as such on every level of decision-making, Leisti concludes.


Slush, a powerhouse of young volunteers

Slush is a leading international startup event that brings over 17 000 participants, 600 journalists and 1000 investors from 120 countries to Helsinki. Slush promotes Helsinki region as a forerunner of bold startup companies and a as city that unites professionals from different spheres.

The event has a significant impact on the local travel industry and the positive image of Helsinki. What the jury finds the most significant, is the work of the 2000 well educated, civil and talented volunteers that enable the smooth running of the event and the whole tourist experience.

Lux Helsinki light art festival

The streets, markets, and public places of Helsinki are invaded by intelligent and creative light art works every January. The five-day festival gathers 500 000 visitors. The event is the brilliant lighter of the polar nights and the wintery city. Open-to-everyone and free-of-charge concept hosted by Helsinki city awes the locals, and the domestic and international tourists alike. The jury would especially like to congratulate the brilliant artistic design production team and the wonderful artists themselves.

Helsinki city bikes

Helsinki city bikes service is a clever unification of sustainable development, the need to move about and the ability to enjoy the city. Helsinki has become more reachable and the city streets have livened up. The service has been embraced by the locals and tourists as well. The concept has many happy user groups.
The third annual Helsinki Travel Award was welcomed by a severe snow storm.
Photo: Ville Malja
Guests having a pre-relaxing time at the pool.
Photo: Ville Malja
Jukka Perko and friends entertained the eager Helsinki croud.
Photo: Ville Malja
Samuli Mäkinen, Tarja Jääskeläinen and Laura Rissanen collected
the honorary prize for Helsinki city bikes. Photo: Ville Malja

Slush volunteers with co-ordinators Eve and Hannes and collaborator Matti.
Photo: Ville Malja

Lux Helsinki light art festival is the fruit of intelligent and creative
co-operation. Petra Kytölä, Emma Lumme and Laura Aalto
receive the award. Photo: Ville Malja
Aku Vikström, CEO of Royal Ravintolat, sees the bigger
potential for Helsinki. Photo: Ville Malja

Helsinki mayor Jan Vapaavuori presented the new
vision for Helsinki. Photo: Ville Malja


Winners of Helsinki Travel Award 2018 with members of the foundation.
Photo: Ville Malja

A cosy evening with friends from the industry. Photo: Ville Malja

Helsinki Travel Award 2016

Helsinki Travel Award given to Flow Festival, Löyly, Allas Sea Pool and Jaakko Blomberg

Helsinki Tourism Foundation announced the winners of the annual Helsinki Travel Award on Wednesday 26 October, 2016. This year, the prizes were awarded to four different operators who all share a strong vision of Helsinki’s attraction.

The goal of the Helsinki Travel Award is to highlight parties and actions that have had a positive impact on the development of tourism, reputation and customer satisfaction in the Helsinki region. This year the award is worth 20 000 euros.

The prizes were awarded to Flow Festival, Löyly, Allas Sea Pool and Jaakko Blomberg from Yhteismaa. The prize was distributed evenly so that each was awarded a prize worth of 5000 euros.

Flow Festival attracts thousands of tourists each year to enjoy one of the world’s best festivals and enables them to get to know Helsinki’s urban culture. Löyly’s charming architecture and business idea based on Finnish sauna has made fans all over the world. Allas Sea Pool is a great example of how enjoyable Helsinki’s waterfronts can be. Jaakko Blomberg was given the prize for his achievements in developing lively and social events in Helsinki. Blomberg has taken part in founding several urban events such as Cleaning Day, Kallio Block Party and Dinner under the sky.

“Tourism in Helsinki has significant potential, but everyone has to work together to fulfil it. All the awardees are bold, innovative and they have developed Helsinki’s tourism greatly. Thanks to them, there are new and interesting experiences and events”, says Risto Lintula, CEO of the Helsinki Tourism Foundation.

“Flow Festival is a wonderful urban city festival and one of Helsinki’s and Finland’s best known events. Löyly has also received a lot of international media attention for its architecture and its modern take on traditional sauna culture. Allas Sea Pool is a fine example of combining private capital, crowd funding and public funding. Jaakko Blomberg from Yhteismaa has brought social urban culture to Helsinki and made the city an even more interesting place for tourists and locals alike”, he continues.

Helsinki Mayor Jussi Pajunen was awarded an acknowledgement for his vision of making Helsinki a fun city. At the moment, Helsinki is growing and evolving at an unprecedented pace.

Jaakko Blomberg is awarded for his bold grass-root level work for Helsinki.
Photo: Ville Malja
Antero Vartia represents Löyly, the stylish new sauna culture in Helsinki.
Photo: Ville Malja
The founders of Flow Festival, Suvi and Tuomas Kallio, have lifted
Helsinki to the next level. Photo: Ville Malja
The brains and ”sisu” behind Allas Sea Pool: Raoul Grünstein,
Marianne Mäkelä and Pekka Salmi. Photo: Ville Malja
The winners of Helsinki Travel Award 2016. Photo: Ville Malja
Vice CEO of Nordic Choice Hotels, Mr Bjørn Arild Wisth, sharing
the principles of the hotel chain’s strategy.
A nice evening with friends from the industry. Photo: Ville Malja
Helsinki mayor Jussi Pajunen is awarded for his work in making
Helsinki more fun and accessible to everyone. Photo: Hanna Salomaa
Members of the board of Helsinki Tourism Foundation celebrate the Mayor’s
achievement. From left: Jouni Vihmo, Mayor Jussi Pajunen, CEO Risto Lintula
and Kristiina Havas. Photo: Hanna Salomaa

Helsinki Trawel Award 2015

First Ever Helsinki Travel Award goes to Design District Helsinki, HELtours and Founders of Royal Ravintolat

Helsinki Tourism Foundation announced the winners of the very first Helsinki Travel Award on Thursday 8 October 2015. The goal of the acknowledgement is to present parties and actions that have had a positive impact on the development of tourism in the Helsinki region. This year the prizes were awarded to Design District Helsinki, HELtours, and the founders of Royal Ravintolat Mia and Kasperi Saari and Pertti Hynninen.

The award is worth a total of 10,000 euros, and it was presented for the first time this year to two different parties. An acknowledgement was awarded to a third party. In future, the Helsinki Travel Award will be awarded annually.

Design District Helsinki received a prize worth 6,000 euros. Design District Helsinki is a collaborative service helping travellers get to know Helsinki in the field of design. The concept was created by an active network of creative people and businesses.

HELtours was awarded a prize worth 4,000 euros. HELtours organizes interactive biking tours in Helsinki, offering travellers the possibility to experience Helsinki at its best, while giving them access to places which more traditional guided tours cannot reach.

The founders of Royal Ravintolat as well as boutique hotels Hotel Haven and Fabian, Mia and Kasperi Saari, and Pertti Hynninen, were awarded an acknowledgement for their notable accomplishment in generating stylish culinary experiences and cozy overnight stays in Helsinki. They have established a steady supply of good restaurants in Helsinki.

The winners of the first ever Helsinki Travel Award: from top left, CEO Risto Lintula,
Petri Hynninen, Mia Saari and Kasperi Saari. From bottom left: Sirpa Linnanmäki,
Minna Särelä, Riku Nurminen and Deputy CEO Mikko Leisti.
Photo: Lasse Keltto