A more recent publication of this set of statistics is available.

Latest publication: Accommodation statistics 2019, April

Published: 7 February 2019

Nights spent by foreign tourists in Finland up by 6.9 per cent in December 2018

The number of nights spent by foreign tourists in Finland increased by 6.9 per cent in December 2018. Nearly 788,000 nights were recorded for them in Finnish accommodation establishments. The number of overnight stays by resident tourists remained on level with the previous year. Their number of overnight stays in accommodation establishments totalled close on 966,000, down by only 0.3 per cent. In all, slightly under 1.8 million overnight stays were recorded at Finnish accommodation establishments, which was 2.8 per cent more than in December 2017. 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.

Change in overnight stays in December 2018/2017, %

Change in overnight stays in December 2018/2017, %

Over one-half of all overnight stays by foreign tourists focused on Lapland in December 2018

The number of recorded nights spent by foreign tourists at accommodation establishments in Lapland totalled 399,000, which was 7.8 per cent higher than in December 2017. The share of overnight stays by foreign tourists in Lapland was 50.7 per cent of all overnight stays by foreign tourists in Finland. British tourists accounted for most of these and their overnight stays were directed almost entirely to Lapland. Close on 171,000 overnight stays were recorded for them in accommodation establishments in Lapland, whereas the corresponding number for the whole country was 208,000 overnight stays. In Lapland, the number went up by 2.6 per cent from the previous year and in the whole country overnight stays by British visitors increased by 7.7 per cent. The number of overnight stays in Lapland by visitors from Asian countries increased to almost 61,000, which was 15.2 per cent more than in the previous year. Around 48 per cent of overnight stays by Asian tourists focused on Lapland in December 2018.

British tourists emerged as the biggest group of foreign tourists by far in December 2018

The above mentioned Christmas travel by British visitors also raised them to be the biggest foreign tourist group in the whole country in December with 208,000 overnight stays. Russian visitors came second with good 74,000 overnight stays, even though their overnight stays decreased by 10.6 per cent from the year before. French visitors were in third position with good 43,000 overnight stays. The number of their overnight stays in accommodation establishment grew by 13.5 per cent when compared with December 2017. Germans were fourth with 41,000 nights spent and the number rose by 15.2 per cent from the previous year.

However, the biggest growth percentage came from the United States; 31.5 per cent. Almost 21,000 overnight stays were recorded for tourists from the United States at Finnish accommodation establishments in December 2018. Overnight stays recorded for Dutch visitors increased by 15.0 per cent and totalled around 22,000. Overnight stays by Spanish tourists increased by 14.0 per cent and those by Chinese visitors by 11.5 per cent from December 2017. Spanish tourists spent nearly 37,000 nights in Finland and Chinese visitors slightly under 32,000.

Besides overnight stays by Russian tourists, overnight stays by Swedish and Italian tourists decreased in December 2018. Altogether, 25,500 overnight stays were recorded for Swedish visitors, which was 5.3 per cent fewer than in December 2017. Around 18,000 overnight stays were recorded for Italian tourists; down by 3.8 per cent.

Examined by region, the total number of overnight stays increased most in December in South Savo, by 15.8 per cent and in Kainuu, by 15.7 per cent. In Päijät-Häme overnight stays grew by 14.1 per cent and in Pirkanmaa by 11.4 per cent. By contrast, the total number of overnight stays decreased in Satakunta by 15.9 per cent and in Kanta-Häme by 11.6 per cent. In the whole country, the number of overnight stays increased in total by 2.8 per cent compared to December 2017.

Change in overnight stays in December by region 2018/2017, %

Change in overnight stays in December by region 2018/2017, %

Overnight stays at hotels increased by 3.4 per cent in December

In December 2018, the total number of nights spent in hotels was close on 1.5 million, which was 3.4 per cent more than twelve months earlier. Overnight stays by foreign tourists increased by 7.6 per cent and hotels recorded good 687,000 of them. Overnight stays by resident tourists remained on level with the previous year and around 806,000 overnight stays were recorded for them in December 2018.

The occupancy rate of hotel rooms was 50.5 per cent in December. One year earlier, it was nearly the same, 50.3 per cent. Examined by region, the highest hotel room occupancy rates were recorded in Lapland, 72.6 per cent, and Uusimaa, 60.8 per cent. In Rovaniemi, the hotel room occupancy rate was 91.9 per cent and in Vantaa 64.3 per cent. The hotel room occupancy rate in Helsinki was 68.4 per cent.

In December 2018, the realised average price of a hotel room was EUR 118.42 per day for the whole country. Twelve months earlier, it was EUR 111.91.

Hotel room occupancy rate and the monthly average price

Hotel room occupancy rate and the monthly average price

Total number of nights spent at all accommodation establishments grew by 1.4 per cent in 2018

According to preliminary data, the number of nights spent at accommodation establishments in Finland was record high and totalled good 22 million in 2018, which was 1.4 per cent more than in 2017. In total, 15.4 million overnight stays were recorded for resident tourists and good 6.8 million overnight stays for non-resident tourists. The overnight stays of resident visitors increased by 1.5 per cent and those of non-resident visitors by 1.3 per cent from the previous year.

The number of nights spent by Russian visitors at accommodation establishments in Finland totalled good 816,000 in January to December 2018, which was 0.7 per cent down on the respective period of 2017. They were still the biggest country of inbound tourism to Finland. Germans came second with 628,000 overnight stays. Their number of overnight stays was slightly under one per cent higher than in January to December 2017. British tourists beat the Swedish tourists and came third with close on 595,000 overnight stays. The increase from the corresponding period of the previous year was 1.5 per cent. Swedish tourists were left in fourth place with 560,000 overnight stays. Their overnight stays at accommodation establishment decreased by 6.3 per cent. Chinese visitors kept their fifth position and nearly 333,000 nights were recorded for them. The figure was 6.2 per cent higher than in the corresponding period one year earlier.

Overnight stays at Finnish accommodation establishments by visitors from almost all the most important countries of inbound tourism to Finland increased in January to December 2018. Of them, overnight stays by Dutch and Spanish tourists increased most, by around eight per cent each. The number of overnight stays by Dutch visitors grew to good 246,000 and those by Spanish visitors to close on 176,000. Overnight stays by visitors from the United States increased by 7.4 per cent and a total of nearly 290,000 overnight stays in accommodation establishments were recorded for them. Nights spent by French visitors increased by 6.9 per cent and good 299,000 overnight stays were recorded for them. In 2018, the biggest drop in overnight stays came from overnight stays by Japanese tourists. They decreased throughout the whole year except for November and December. Japanese visitors spent close on 216,000 nights in accommodation establishments, which was 9.5 per cent down on 2017.

Change in overnight stays in January-December 2018/2017, %

Change in overnight stays in January-December 2018/2017, %

Source: Accommodation Statistics. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Marjut Tuominen 029 551 3556, Ossi Nurmi 029 551 2984, liikenne.matkailu@stat.fi

Director in charge: Mari Ylä-Jarkko

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Updated 7.2.2019

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Accommodation statistics [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-6325. December 2018. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 18.6.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/matk/2018/12/matk_2018_12_2019-02-07_tie_001_en.html