The Finnish capital city of Helsinki has raised its profile significantly in the past few years, which is evident from the city’s top score in the Finnish Travel Quality Awards. The awards were presented for the fifth time. The competition was hosted by Finland’s Travel Bureau SMT, Gloria-magazines and the Finnish Fair Corporation. The winner was chosen from the following finalists: Royal Ravintolat restaurant chain, cruise company Viking Line, the Galapagos Islands, the City of Helsinki and Vanaja Castle. The winner is chosen every year by a different well-travelled public figure, and this year’s visitor to the jury was the much-loved, retired television news anchor Eva Polttila.
In the past few years Helsinki has invested on its image positively as “Helsinki of the People”. The organization of major events in Helsinki is exemplary and flexible, and done with a taste of originality. These were characterized as Helsinki’s specific strengths by the jury.
The Finnish Travel Quality Award pays special attention to the quality of the travel experience. The Finnish Travel Exhibition gave also the wider public a chance to vote for the five finalists. Over 8000 votes were given on the exhibition’s website. Galapagos Islands were the winner of the public vote by receiving a quarter of all votes. Last year’s winner was Kristina Cruises.