Helsinki hailed for being welcoming
A ranking by online travel site TravelBird ranked Helsinki the third most welcoming city in a list of 100 cities from around the world.
The Finnish capital is deemed very welcoming by travel journalists, and it also ranks highly for safety, citizen happiness levels and English proficiency and has a low over-tourism score.
Each category was scored from 1 to 10, a higher number meaning a better result. Helsinki’s best figures were recorded in happiness, safety and expert opinion. Its overall score was 8.01.
The ranking was topped by Singapore, with the second spot taken by Helsinki’s dear neighbour Stockholm.
To create the ranking, TravelBird analysed the global top 500 tourist destinations based on factors that can make a visitor feel welcome, such as a welcoming port of entry, citizens’ happiness and safety. Then, over 15 000 travel journalists were asked how welcoming they found each city based on their personal experiences. TravelBird then weighted all of these factors with a formula measuring over-tourism in each destination to determine the final ranking of 100 cities.
TravelBird published the study report to mark the United Nations’ World Cities Day, the theme of which is ‘Innovative Governance, Open Cities’. The company’s aim was to acknowledge cities that make efforts to welcome tourists responsibly as well as open the dialogue about over-tourism and its impact on local communities.