Helsinki launches a pilot of a new visitor experience management model developed with Digitalist

Helsinki Visitor Experience launch

Helsinki launches a pilot of a new visitor experience management model developed with Digitalist


During the past winter and spring, Digitalist has been part of developing a new visitor experience management model for the city of Helsinki. The model that will be implemented now, enables the city to manage, measure and develop the visitor experience comprehensively and consistently to promote positive visitor experiences. Design methods have been utilised in the development work and stakeholders and operators from the tourism and event sectors have been widely involved. Four workshops were organised during the project, in which more than 100 representatives from important stakeholders of Helsinki tourism participated.

Visitor experience refers to the overall experience of the destination for the visitor, which is influenced by many factors such as places to visit, cultural offerings, food culture, accommodation options, ease of movement, and safety. In Helsinki, visitor experience management is seen as a key factor in promoting tourism and events and building the city’s brand. With the now-developed management model, the city of Helsinki wants to create a basis for how the city can take measures to improve the visitor experience across industries and together with the private sector.

“Together with Digitalist, we have been able to develop a management model, that aims to bring different stakeholders broadly behind a common goal”, says Nina Vesterinen, Tourism Manager of the City of Helsinki. “Using the new management model, the city of Helsinki aims to increase visitor satisfaction, loyalty, and willingness to recommend, as well as contribute to the sustainability, growth, profitability, and effectiveness of tourism. A positive visitor experience can also enhance the importance of tourism and events in strategic and operational development actions in the city of Helsinki,” she continues.

“It’s great that Helsinki, as a pioneer city, is starting to manage its visitor experience more systematically and to develop it by identifying and measuring visitor needs. By combining our city design expertise with extensive stakeholder participation, we have been able to build a concept for successful visitor experience management,” says Mikko Koivisto, Director of Service Design at Digitalist. “Since the visitor experience touches such a wide range of actors, it has been rewarding to be involved in developing a management model that ties together the customer experience of all these operators,” he continues.

The concept of the visitor experience management model for the city of Helsinki includes a strategic development plan for the visitor experience, a measurement model, a development process, a management model, and a stakeholder cooperation model. The strategic development plan for the visitor experience is based on the tourism and events action program drawn up for the city for the years 2022–2026. During the project, visitor promises that describe the experience that the city of Helsinki aims to offer its visitors were derived from the program.

The visitor experience measurement model is based on data collected for managing the visitor experience and the understanding derived from it. The metrics produce standardised data managed and owned by the City of Helsinki. The development process helps the city to keep up with visitor needs and expectations and develop the visitor experience. The management model describes the city’s organisational structure, hierarchy, and areas of responsibility in managing and developing the visitor experience. On the other hand, the stakeholder cooperation model is an important part of the city’s visitor experience management model, because it promotes cooperation between the city and its external stakeholders and helps ensure that all parties make an effort to achieve common goals.

The concept of the management model resulting from the development work is to be implemented in the city of Helsinki in the summer of 2023. In the initial phase of implementation, the management and measurement model will be implemented and continuous measurement of the visitor experience will be started.

More information (in Finnish) about the visitor experience management model can be found in a report published by the City of Helsinki: Helsingin vierailijakokemuksen johtamismallin konsepti