• Helsinki Helpers hit the streets on 12 June (c) Jussi Hellsten/Visit Helsinki
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Helsinki Helpers hit the streets on 12 June

PRESS RELEASE 10.6.2015

Helsinki’s mobile tourist information advisors will once again head outdoors to assist visitors starting on Helsinki Day, 12 June. The Helsinki Helpers will be active in the city centre and at the cruise ship terminals. This summer visitors will be served by 26 Helsinki Helpers, who will be on duty for the most part from 9am to 4pm daily until 23 August. Last summer the Helsinki Helpers served over 161,000 visitors, setting a new record for the team.

The Helsinki Helpers will also serve visitors at the Info Container, which will be situated this year in a new central location on Keskuskatu next to Ateneum Art Museum and close to the Central Railway Station.

“The idea behind the new location is to serve especially Finnish and foreign visitors arriving by train, as the new train service between the city centre and Helsinki Airport will be inaugurated this July,” says Sanna Salonen, Customer Service Director at Visit Helsinki.

In addition, the Helsinki Helpers will be on hand at the Katajanokka and Olympic ferry terminals, as well as at the cruise ship terminals. They will also patrol the event venues for the Gymnaestrada gymnastics festival between 12 and 18 July.

The Helsinki Helpers will have access to eight bicycles and one “Helper Mobile” – a customised bike with a box in the front for carrying brochures. Visitors will be served in no less than 13 languages. Special attention has been paid this year to Chinese, which is spoken by six of the Helsinki Helpers. The mobile tourist information advisors can be identified by their green info vests. Visitors along Esplanade Park, the Market Square and Senate Square may also bump into our friendly family mascot Helppi.

Partners offer enhanced opportunities

Although the main sponsor of the Helsinki Helpers is the City of Helsinki, business partners are playing an increasingly important role in making their work possible. This year the Helsinki Helpers are being supported by a record 25 partners. In addition to maps and brochures, the Helsinki Helpers will be distributing the Helsinki Help coupon booklet, which includes special offers at participating shops, museums and restaurants.

“Our business partners help equip the Helsinki Helpers with footwear, outdoor clothing and tablet computers, for example. Participating companies also provide added value to visitors in the form of discounts, in return for which they gain visibility through the Helsinki Helpers and the coupon booklet,” Salonen explains.

This year’s Helsinki Help partners are Ateneum Art Museum, Hard Rock Café, Helsinki Lines, JT-Line, Strömma, Helsinki Music Centre, Linnanmäki Amusement Park, Helsinki City Marketing, the Helsinki Festival, A&S Restaurants, Kunsthalle Helsinki, Fiskars Home, Karhu, the Tori Quarter, Tallink Silja, Sea Life Helsinki, Halti, Kankurin tupa, Visit Porvoo, DNA, the Finlandia restaurant, HOK-Elanto, Santa Claus Licensing, the Military Museum of Finland and Viking Line.

Fun and popular summer work

Serving as a Helsinki Helper is one of the most sought-after summer jobs in Helsinki. This year 360 people applied for the 26 available positions. Working as a Helsinki Helper is demanding, but also extremely varied and fun.

“Some of the most memorable questions that we have been asked include one about skiing opportunities – and this was in early summer! Some visitors also mistook the Havis Amanda fountain for the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen,” remembers Krista Kaipainen, who serves as a Helsinki Help supervisor.

Most of all the Helsinki Helpers are asked about the best sights, places to eat and personal recommendations by locals and the Helsinki Helpers themselves. The Helsinki Help programme originally began as an employment scheme in 1995, and ever since then the mobile tourist information advisors have been providing tips to help visitors and locals make the most of Helsinki.

Tourist information opening hours this summer

The main Tourist Information office on Pohjoisesplanadi, across the street from the Havis Amanda fountain, is open throughout the summer (until 14 September) on weekdays from 9am to 8pm and on weekends from 9am to 6pm. The Info Container on Keskuskatu will be open from 12 June to 23 August daily from 9:30am to 5:30pm. Helsinki Region Tourist Information at Helsinki Airport is open continuously around the clock; customers at the airport are served by tourist information advisors daily from 10am to 8pm, and at other times they have access to brochures and public computers.

New location for Helsinki Region Tourist Information at Helsinki Airport

The Tourist Information office at the airport has been revamped with a new look and a new location in Arrivals 2A. The office set another record in 2014 serving over 320,000 customers, making it the most popular Tourist Information office.

Further information:
Sanna Salonen, Customer Service Director, Visit Helsinki/Helsinki Marketing Ltd, sanna.salonen@hel.fi, tel. +358 9 310 36597

Helsinki Help supervisors: Krista Kaipainen, tel. +358 44 959 2027 and Lotta Peltola, tel. +358 44 959 2024, helpit@hel.fi
www.visithelsinki.fi

Press images: http://materialbank.visithelsinki.fi/?cart=1426-cdcdbefhic&l=EN