Sea Days Started at Kotka Finland Number of visitors increased
The number of visitors increased at the Sea Days in Kotka, This year, there were more visitors than at the previous Sea Days. Still, the tourism entrepreneur estimates that the importance of the event as a source of income was greater in the 90s.
Usually, the resort is fully booked months before Sea Days, but this time was different. Santalahti Resort, located in Mussalo, Kotka, didn't see the festive buzz during the Sea Days last week.
- We have noticed that some caravanners leave during the Sea Days. I wonder if people have a chance of happening. There are so many different kinds of music events. Are people a bit tired of these types of events? Halles-Markkola ponders.
Halles-Markkola says that the importance of Sea Days as a source of income for the resort has decreased over the years anyway.
- In the 90s it was really significant, but then tourism was fundamentally different from today. Now that we have expanded our services, the season has been extended. In that sense, Meripäivät is just like any other summer weekend.
More visitors than before corona
Kotka Meripäivät was organized this year after a two-year break caused by the corona pandemic. Tiina Salonen, event manager of Meripääi, said before the opening parade that she hoped that as many people would participate in Meripääi as before.
His wish was fulfilled by throwing. The organizers estimate that this year Meripäivät gathered more visitors than in 2019.
- The number of day visitors in particular increased. There were clearly more of them than in 2019. There were a lot of families and out-of-towners on the move.
In 2019, according to a visitor survey, visitors spent around 6.5-7.5 million euros at the event. The same amount of money was spent outside the event in Kotka.
Salonen is not yet able to give exact financial figures for this year's Meripääi. He says that a higher number of visitors does not necessarily directly mean that more money was spent.
- This year has been special. Everyone knows about the rise in prices and other situations that people have. Now it remains to be seen what effect the number of visitors had. I noticed that there were enough people in the city for services other than the Meripää area. I have also heard such feedback from others.
Downtown entrepreneurs benefit
In honor of the anniversary, Kotka's Sea Days were held in the city center this year. In the 2010s, Meripäivät has been organized mainly in Kantasatama.
This year, entrepreneurs in the city center in particular had expectations in terms of income, according to Kotka's entrepreneurs.
Taija Apo, the owner of Hotel Merikotka, located near Kantasatama, is not sorry that Meripääi was not held in Kantasatama this year. Apo says that when the event is downtown, it becomes more of a city festival atmosphere.
Hotel Merikotka was fully booked on the opening day of the event, except for one last-minute cancellation. The fifteen-room small hotel is where many Meripääien conkers stay.
- We have a lot of people staying here who have been here for ten years. For example, employees of the event, such as stall sellers and equipment maintainers. They usually book accommodation already for the following year, says Apo.
Do you have memories of Kotka's sea days? Commenting is open until 23:00 on August 2, 2022.