International hotel chains are considering Turku as a prospect, provided that a suitable location is found. A top class hotel would support the development of tourism in Turku and Finland Proper.
The hotel capacity of the Turku city center is 2 200 rooms, which is quantitatively enough for the needs of meetings, congresses and other events. Despite the good Nordic quality Turku has a demand for a broader selection and more high quality accommodation.
Many suitable sites close to the city center
Director of City Planning Timo Hintsanen has mapped sites and buildings suitable for the hotel initiative. A top level hotel can be accomplished in many ways according to Hintsanen: in addition to redevelopment it is possible to build extra wings or otherwise extend already existing properties. Hintsanen sees more than ten locations of interest close to the city center where the new hotel could be built.
”There is a demand for a high class hotel. Several top international hotel chains are making enquiries about arriving to Turku. They are looking for a post in Finland and Turku is one of the interesting locations,” says Hintsanen.
Examples of suitable locations for extensions or extra wings at the nuclear center are the site next to the existing Radisson Blu Marina Palace hotel, the Wiklund block next to the market square and the Österblad site at Linnankatu. An extra wing for the hotel would also fit, for example, next to the Market Hall on top of the present parking lot.
Hintsanen considers renovating old buildings into hotel usage as the most interesting plan for the hotel chains. Up to a 10-storey hotel could be built inside the disused Turku Energia power plant on Linnankatu. Another possibility is Kakolanmäki, which has already previously been a target of hotel and other construction plans. Also by developing the Old Great Square buildings in a dignified fashion the result could be a one of a kind boutique/design hotel with Turku spirit and a location and milieu attracting visitors coming to Turku.
In Turku every 20th vacancy is in the field of tourism
Tourism is one of the world’s fastest growing fields; globally already every 11th vacancy is in the field of tourism. In 2013 in Finland tourism employed 140 000 people, out of which almost a third were young adults.
The aggregate demand of tourism in Finland in 2013 was 13.4 billion euros. From 2007 to 2013 the aggregate demand grew 23%. The appreciation of tourism, or the value added, was approximately 4.44 billion euros, which is 2.7% of Finland’s gross domestic product. It is remarkable that the appreciation of tourism was more than two times that of agriculture and forestry, and one and a half times that of food industry. The field brings over 4 billion euros of export revenue and 5.2 billion euros of tax revenue per year to Finland.
The gross income of tourism in the Turku region in 2012 was 885.6 million euros and employment in tourism 4668 person years. Every 20th vacation in the Turku region is in the field of tourism.
Toursim benefits several different fields of business; for example traffic, commerce and culture services. It is important relative to continuous progress to invest in the co-operation between fields of business and in the development of novel services locally, nationally as well as internationally. The development of tourism demands co-operation also inside ministries and in decision making. The City of Turku participates in the supervision of tourism’s interests. The objective is to include the development plan with the goals of the administration and to formulate a separate programme of action for tourism.