According to the independent media analytics firm Mediapilot, 700 million people in Europe and China have read about Umeå in recent months. The survey covers 11 European countries plus China, which all have shown a great interest in Umeå. The media coverage has resulted in a record number of visitors to the Umeå region. Various institutions such as Bildmuseet, Norrlandsoperan and Umeå Airport all show a significant increase in interest. The airport will soon pass the million mark with an increase of 9 percent so far this year.
“Culture is a driving force for human growth and sustainable social development, something we already knew when we applied to become a European Capital of Culture. We can now confirm this with hard facts, that investing in culture also contributes to long-term economic development of the municipality,” says Marie-Louise Rönnmark, Mayor, City of Umeå and chairwoman of Umeå municipality's Capital of Culture Committee.
She also stresses the importance of using our newfound experiences and bring Umeå2014 into the future and to take advantage of the attention that comes with being a European Capital of Culture.
Visit Umeå has noted an increase in website visitors by 64 percent since January. Most of these are completely new visitors from Europe and elsewhere. The hotels in town have already seen a sharp increase in the number of guest nights. In March, the increase was 22 percent.
Cultural events are also noticing an increase in visitors. Norrlandsoperan confirms an increase in visitors and a major increase in ticket sales. Bildmuseet has had 41,868 visitors so far this year (January to April), which is 13348 more visitors than the same period last year. Västerbottens Museum has doubled their visitors so far.
The tour Caught by Umeå which went around Europe during the fall 2013 laid the foundation for the international media interest. Mediapilot, who made the survey, is the leading Nordic player in independent media analysis. They describe Umeå as a modern and accessible destination and mention some of the most renowned media which have written about Umeå:
The New York Times, the Times, the Telegraph, the Independent, the Daily Mail and the Guardian, La Repubblica, de Telegraaf, der Spiegel, Bild, die Welt and El Mundo.
“Now the world talks about Umeå and the Northern Room,” says Marie -Louise Rönnmark.
Total turnover of the Umeå region is approximately SEK 1.3 billion. This means that if Umeå increases their visits by 20 percent, more than SEK 200 million will be added to the city and the surrounding region. Transformed into jobs, this equals hiring of hundreds of people in this field.
Right now, Umeå2014 is also nominated for the SABRE Awards, Europe's leading communications contest, where the tour Caught by Umeå has a chance to win a prize in the class for special events. The award ceremony takes place on 20 May in London.
Mayor, City of Umeå and chairwoman of Umeå municipality's Capital of Culture Committee
+46 706 556 484
European head of marketing, Umeå2014
+46 705 870 603
Anna Wikholm Kjellberg
Visit Umeå AB
+4670-579 62 87
Umeå has been appointed European Capital of Culture 2014. Each year EU appoints two cultural capitals of Europe, with the aim of highlighting our shared cultural heritage and stimulate interest in the cultural riches of the countries in the EU. In Umeå this award is an important part of the municipality's long-term growth strategy. This will create a greater interest in the city and its stakeholders, and contribute to culture-driven growth.