Helsinki focuses on international competitiveness with the aim of making strides in attracting foreign investments, visitors and experts as well as developing the city brand

Mar 19, 2021

In accordance with the City Strategy, it is Helsinki’s goal to be one of the most appealing locations in Europe for innovative start-up activities and the most attractive competence cluster for businesses and individuals looking to make the world a better place. Helsinki is currently ranking well in many international comparisons. Before the pandemic, we were seeing good growth in foreign investments and tourist numbers. Yet, especially Stockholm and Copenhagen are still attracting more professionals and tourists than Helsinki.

Over the course of the past six months, the City has explored ways of organising its operations related to the development of international competitiveness and appeal to optimally support the City’s strategy, goals and performance in the increasing international competition between cities. The aim is to make significant strides in the development of international appeal.

As a result of the analysis, the City will be combining the operations of Helsinki Business Hub Oy and Helsinki Marketing Oy to create a new city marketing and invest-in company tasked with promoting Helsinki’s sustainable growth, the acquisition of investments, businesses, professionals and visitors, the City’s international sales and marketing, and the building of its brand and international renown. The end goal is to form an agile, flexible and customer-oriented company that can better react to changes in the operating environment. At the same time, investments in the development of tourism will remain essential, which is why the City’s Economic Development Division will be establishing the Destination Management unit, to which Helsinki Marketing’s previous operations will be transferred.

“In order to succeed, Helsinki must do well in the increasing international competition. It is becoming more and more important to draw investments, businesses, professionals and visitors to Helsinki. That being said, success in this regard is also predicated on our ability to generate additional value to Helsinki and its residents through these measures. Helsinki Business Hub and Helsinki Marketing have done a wonderful job. As such, the new company is not necessary meant to fix anything that is currently broken but instead enable us to make strides in the development of our operations through consolidation, elimination of overlaps and the more effective merging of invest-in and brand building operations. Simultaneously, we want to continue our increasing investments in the development of tourism,” says Mayor of Helsinki Jan Vapaavuori.

The Destination Management unit to be established under the Economic Development Division will, among its other efforts, focus on the development of management based on tourism-related information, the operating models of sustainable tourism, and new innovations in close cooperation with the entire ecosystem, companies and networks related to tourism in Helsinki. The new unit will cooperate closely with the new city marketing and invest-in company as well as other City of Helsinki operations related to tourism.

The staff of Helsinki Marketing’s current destination services and content management will be transferred to the City of Helsinki Economic Development Unit as existing employees. A new position will be established within the Destination Management unit for a tourist director who will lead the unit’s operations. Preparations are currently under way for the resourcing of the new unit and the schedule of the transition.

The City Board approved the establishment of the new company on 15 March 2021. The company will begin operating in spring. The process to recruit a managing director will be started as soon as possible.

Helsinki Business Hub

Helsinki Business Hub is the international trade, investment promotion and talent attraction agency for the capital of Finland. We help foreign companies set-up their business, grow and develop in Helsinki and international investors to find quality deal flow from Finland. We do this by providing the right information and contacts and identifying growth opportunities for our clients, free of charge. Our work results in economic growth and new jobs in the area. Helsinki Business Hub is owned by the City of Helsinki.

Helsinki Marketing

Helsinki Marketing is a company owned by the City of Helsinki. It is responsible for operative city marketing and business partnerships for Helsinki. Helsinki Marketing cooperates closely with local residents, visitors, decision-makers and experts.

Photo: Jussi Hellsten / Helsinki Marketing

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