Finland

Finland is one of the most popular congress countries in the world. The list of international associations who have chosen Finland to host their conferences is long and impressive. Finland is a safe and smoothly functioning, reliable destination, easily accessible from all over the world. Its geographical location between East and West makes it interesting as a conference venue, attracting delegates from all over the world.

High educational standards have contributed to Finland's emergence as a country of high technology. Finland is well known for its mobile phones and boasts more internet connections per capita than any other country. Finland is today a world leader in various high-tech fields, and this expertise benefits society as a whole.

A popular congress destination

Already for the past twenty years Finland has been ranked one of the top 20 most popular countries for hosting congresses. According to the latest UIA (Union of International Associations) statistics, Finland was the second highest ranked Nordic country and 19th in the world.

High quality venues and interesting cities

Finland offers a wide variety of high quality venues - everything from a conference center for 10,000 people to an intimate log cabin meeting room for 20. Altogether Finland offers ten venues that can accommodate 1,000 to 10,000 persons, and the largest fixed meeting room has 4,400 seats. Helsinki alone offers around 80 hotels and 11,000 rooms among international chains and local design hotels. Finland's 14 congress cities offer unique settings for meetings small and large.

Fluent & efficient

Over 90 percent of people who responded to a recent congress survey commissioned by FCB considered the safety and security of Finnish host cities to be either good or very good. Congress delegates also gave special thanks to the friendliness of Finns. The country offers genuine hospitality and very experienced meetings industry professionals and other service providers. Finns are good organisers.

In Finland you can also rest assured that matters will be handled fluently and efficiently. Congress arrangements were considered either good or very good by 87 percent of delegates responding to the FCB survey.

Good connections

Situated in the heart of Northern Europe, Finland is easy to get to. Around 180 international flights arrive daily at Helsinki-Vantaa international airport. Several other cities in Finland are also served by direct international flights.

Excellent transport connections ensure that a congress in Finland can easily be combined with a holiday in some other part of the country or in Russia (for example in St. Petersburg) or one of the Baltic countries. The car ferries operating between Sweden and Finland are real "floating hotels" and a major attraction in their own right.

Nature

Finland is one of the most extensive and unspoiled natural environments in Europe. Finland is sometimes referred to as the 'land of the thousand lakes', but in fact there were a total of 187,888 at the last count.

A veritable maze of inland waterways - with a profusion of bays, headlands and islands, sometimes opening out into broader waters - extends across the country but is especially dense across the eastern areas. The lakes are linked by rivers, straits and canals and offer a wide variety of recreational opportunities.

From June to August swimming and boating are popular, while a network of lakeland steamer routes, linking many of the larger towns, provides a leisurely option for touring the country. In wintertime the frozen lakes are transformed into a giant playground for skiers and skaters. The other main element of Finland's nature is the forest, which extends to all parts of the country but for the highest fells in northern Lapland.

Finland has the highest percentage of strictly protected areas in Europe (8.2%). Forests subject to various degrees of protection equal about 2.9 million hectares, 13% of Finland's forest area.


Facts about Finland

Population
5.35 million inhabitants, 15.7 inhabitants per square km, 71% of the population live in towns.
   
Capital Helsinki, with 600,000 inhabitants. Other major cities Espoo, Tampere, Vantaa, Turku and Oulu
   
Total area
338,404 square kilometres (130,580 square miles). Finland is the seventh largest country in Europe.
   
Land boundaries Sweden, Norway and Russia
   
 Local time 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). 
   
Climate Four distinct seasons. 
   
Coldest month 
February and warmest July. February and warmest July; light summer nights from May to July. The Midnight Sun stays above the horizon for approximately two months straight in northernmost parts of Finland. In colder months, the Northern Lights are visible for up to 200 nights a year. 
   
Geography 
Maximum distance from north to south 1,157 kilometres (719 miles), from east to west 542 kilometres (336 miles).
   
  1,100 kilometres of coastline, 188,000 lakes (accounts for 10% of the total area), 5100 waterfalls and rapids.
   
  179,000 islands -  Europe's largest archipelago lies off Finland's southwest coast.
   
  Forest covers 75% of land area.
   
Languages
Official languages are Finnish (91%) and Swedish (5%). About 1,700 people in Lapland speak Sami (Lapp) languages.
English is widely spoken. 
   
Religion
81% Lutheran, 1% Orthodox
   
Average household size
2.1 persons 
   
Form of Government
Parliamentary Republic since 1917 
   
History
Part of the Kingdom of Sweden from the 12th to the 19th century. An autonomous Grand Duchy within the Russian Empire from 1809 to 1917. Declaration of independence on 6th December 1917. The country's first female President was elected in 2000. 
   
Head of State President Sauli Niinistö
   
National legislature
Unicameral parliament with 200 members
   
International relations Member of EU, UN, OECD and WTO, among others 
   
Currency Euro (EUR) since January 2002 
   
GDP per capita
EUR 35,150 in 2011
   
Major exports Metals, engineering, electronics and forestry products 
   
Principal markets
EU Member States
   
Largest enterprises Nokia, StoraEnso, Neste Oil, UPM-Kymmene 
   
Education

High standard of education with free schooling for all.
20 universities and institutes of higher education.
13% of Finns have a university degree or equivalent qualification.

 

A popular meeting destination

• 
21st most popular congress country in the world
(UIA statistics, 2011).

163 international association meetings were held in 2011.

The most popular congress cities are Helsinki,
Turku, Tampere, Espoo and Jyväskylä. 

 

 

 

 

 
Easy to reach

Around 180 international flights arrive daily at Helsinki-Vantaa international airport.
Several other cities in Finland are also served by direct international flights. The most frequent flights are run by Finnair and SAS/Blue1.

• Beijing 7 h 40 min • Paris 3 h 5 min
• Brussels 2 h 40 min • Rome 3 h 35 min
• London 3 h 10 min • Stockholm 55 min
• Moscow 1 h 50 min • Tallinn 35 min
• New York 8 h 40 min • Tokyo 9 h 25 min

 

Trains

A daily train service operates from Helsinki to St. Petersburg and Moscow in Russia. 

Ferries

Daily ferry services operate between Finland and Estonia, Sweden and Germany.