Author | Patricia LicerasHelsinki is making the most of its new title of European Capital of Smart Tourism, which it was awarded at the end of last year together with Lyon for its innovative approach to tourism, among others. The Finish capital is now focusing all its attention on attracting one million new visitors -in 2017 it reached 4.5 million, a record figure. However, visitors will not have to defy the intense cold to enjoy the city’s tourist attractions. Helsinki wants these one million new tourists to visit the city without leaving home, that is, through virtual reality.Virtual Helsinki is a digital experience that enables users to visit the city’s digital twin created in high quality 3D. They will be able to visit the famous Senate Square, explore inside the studio and home of architect Alvar Aalto, or wallow in nature on the small island of Lonna, very close to the capital and part of the archipelago of more than 40,000 islands of Helsinki. And all this can be done at any time of the year, simply by using virtual reality glasses and an app.The studio and home of architect Alvar Aalto in virtual reality.This pioneering idea of tourism emerged long before the EU first launched the European smart tourism competition last year. Five years ago, Miikka Rosendahl, founder and CEO of the ZOAN studio, started “dreaming of an entire virtual city”. Subsequently, he found a great ally in the municipal company Helsinki Marketing, which joined the studio to make this wish come true.
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