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Influx of foreign tourists increases sharply

Published : 18 Mar 2017, 00:49

  DF Report
DF Photo

The influx of foreign tourists and their stays in the accommodation facilities increased significantly in January this year.

According to the Statistics Finland, the overnight stays by foreign tourists increased heavily by 18.3 per cent at the Finnish accommodation establishments from last year and good 615,000 nights were recorded for them in January 2017.

The number of nights spent by resident tourists grew by 5.7 per cent and totalled nearly 827,000. A total of good 1.4 million overnight stays were recorded at Finnish accommodation establishments in January 2017, which was 10.7 per cent more than in January 2016.

These figures are preliminary data from Statistics Finland’s statistics on accommodation establishments and they have been collected from accommodation establishments with at least 20 beds or caravan pitches with electricity connection.

The number of recorded nights spent by foreign tourists at accommodation establishments in Lapland was nearly 236,000, which was 40.9 per cent more than in January 2016.

Overnight stays by tourists from Asia increased by as much as 125.0 per cent in Lapland and nearly 44,000 nights were recorded for them in January 2017. Overnight stays by Chinese tourists among Asians in Lapland was nearly 16,000. Around 34,000 to 35,000 overnight stays were recorded for British and French tourists.

Overnight stays by British visitors increased by 49.6 per cent and those by French visitors by 23.9 per cent year-on-year. Accommodation establishments recorded nearly 22,000 overnight stays for visitors from both Russia and the Netherlands. Overnight stays by Dutch tourists increased by as much as 60.7 per cent while those by Russian tourists decreased by 9.5 per cent compared with January 2016.

January has typically been the most popular month for Russian visitors measured by overnight stays at accommodation establishments. This trend continued in 2017 and they were still by far the biggest group of foreign tourists with 155,000 overnight stays. Overnight stays by Russian visitors increased by 2.2 per cent from the previous year, and their share in the total number of overnight stays by foreign visitors was 25 per cent in January 2017. British tourists came second with good 61,000 overnight stays. The number was as much as 26.2 per cent higher than in the year before. French and German visitors came third. Accommodation establishments recorded around 41,000 to 42,000 overnight stays for them. Overnight stays by French visitors increased by one-fifth and those by German visitors by 17.0 per cent year-on-year. Overnight stays by Dutch tourists increased by a whopping 62.3 per cent and nearly 35,000 nights spent were recorded for them in January 2017, which made them the fifth largest group of tourists.

However, the biggest growth percentage came from China; as much as 159.7 per cent. Finnish accommodation establishments recorded good 28,000 overnight stays for Chinese visitors in January 2017. Overnight stays recorded for Japanese visitors numbered nearly 16,000, which was 13.4 per cent more than in January 2016. All in all, overnight stays by Asian visitors at accommodation establishments rose to 81,500. The number was 72.0 per cent higher than one year previously. Nights spent at Finnish accommodation establishments by visitors from all the most important countries of inbound tourism to Finland increased heavily in January 2017, with the exception of Sweden and the United States.

Examined by region, overnight stays increased in January most in Lapland, up by 27.4 per cent. Overnight stays increased by one-fifth in Päijät-Häme and by 16.7 per cent in South Karelia. The regions of Uusimaa and Central Finland saw a growth of 11 to 12 per cent. By contrast, the total number of overnight stays decreased by three per cent in both Satakunta and Kymenlaakso. Overnight stays in North Karelia remained at last year's level. In the whole country, overnight stays increased by 10.7 per cent from January 2016.

In January 2017, the total number of nights spent in hotels was good 1.2 million, which was 9.7 per cent more than twelve months earlier. Overnight stays by foreign tourists increased by 17.4 per cent and hotels recorded a total of 520,000 of them. Recorded nights spent by resident tourists in hotels numbered nearly 715,000. The number was 4.7 per cent higher than in January 2016.

The occupancy rate of hotel rooms was 48.7 per cent in January. One year earlier, it was 45.9 per cent. Examined by region, the highest hotel room occupancy rates were recorded in Lapland, 64.6 per cent, and Uusimaa, 55.0 per cent. In Rovaniemi, the hotel room occupancy rate rose to 82.1 per cent and in Kittilä to 78.1 per cent. In Vantaa, the occupancy rate of hotel rooms was measured to be 66.5 per cent. The hotel room occupancy rate in Helsinki was 56.7 per cent.

In January 2017, the realised average price of a hotel room was EUR 98.15 per day for the whole country. Twelve months previously, it was EUR 93.11.