Concepts and definitions

Accommodation capacity

Accommodation capacity consists of bedrooms and bed-places in accommodation establishments. A bedroom is a unit formed by one room or groups of rooms constituting an indivisible rental whole in an accommodation establishment (e.g. hotel) or a dwelling. A caravan pitch (provided with electric socket) equates to one accommodating unit.

A bed-place refers to a sleeping place for one person set up in an establishment. The number of bed-places indicates how many persons can be accommodated in an establishment at the same time. A bed-place applies to a single bed. A double bed is counted as two bed-places. For one caravan pitch 4 bed-places are counted.

Accommodation establishment

An accommodation establishment is an establishment (local kind-of-activity unit) providing overnight lodging for holiday spenders and other travellers in rooms or some other units. In the accommodation statistics of Statistics Finland, accommodation establishments are classified according to the standard industrial classification (TOL 2008) into hotels and similar establishments (guest houses), youth hostels, holiday villages and camping sites.

Arrival in accommodation establishment

In tourism statistics, an "arrival" is a statistical unit used to measure the volume of tourist/visitor flows. In accommodation statistics, arrivals refer to guest arrivals in accommodation establishments who check in to spend one or more nights in the establishment. 'Arrivals' also indicate the demand for accommodation services measured by the number of customers.

In the Border Interview survey (Frontier survey) or statistics collected by Frontier Guard officers, an 'arrival' refers to a visitor arrival at the national borders.

Bed-place

The number of bed-places in an establishment or dwelling is determined by the number of persons who can stay overnight in beds set up in the establishment, ignoring any extra beds that may be set up by customer request. The term bed-place applies to a single bed. A double bed is counted as two bed-places. This unit serves to measure the capacity of any type of accommodation (e.g. one caravan pitch counts as 4 bed-places).

In the Finnish accommodation statistics extra beds are often firm fixtures of accommodation facilities, especially when the accommodation unit is a cottage (chalet, bungalow). In these cases the capacity is usually given by the number of accommodated persons, e.g. 4+2 persons.

Bed-place occupancy rate

The net occupancy rate of bed-places in one month is obtained by dividing the total overnight stays by the number of bed-places on offer and the number of days when the bed-places are actually available for use (net of seasonal or other temporary closures for decoration, etc.) for the same group of establishments.

The gross occupancy rate of bed-places in one month is obtained by dividing the total overnight stays by the number of bed-places and the number of days in the corresponding month (sometimes termed bed-nights) for the same group of establishments.

Caravan pitch

Camp sites let pitches for tents, caravans, mobile homes and similar shelter to tourists who want to stay on a "touring" pitch for only a couple of consecutive days or weeks, as well as to people who want to hire a "fixed" pitch for a season or a year.

In the Finnish Accommodation statistics, only pitches provided with electric sockets are counted in the accommodation capacity corresponding to one lodging unit. In the EU and other international tourism statistics 4 bed-places are counted per one pitch. Besides camp sites hotels and other accommodation establishments (e.g. holiday villages) may have caravan pitches provided with sockets which are also counted in the accommodation capacity in Finland.

Country of residence

For the purpose of tourism statistics, country of residence is defined as the country where a person has lived for most of the past 12 months. Tourists are defined as non-residents/residents according to the country of residence, and not to the nationality.

Hotel room

A bedroom is a unit formed by one room or group of rooms constituting an indivisible rental whole in an accommodation establishment (e.g. a hotel) or dwelling. Rooms may be single, double or multiple depending on whether they are equipped permanently to sleep one, two or several people. Apartments are a special type of room. They consist of one or more rooms and have a kitchen unit and own bathroom and toilet. Cabins, cottages, huts, bungalows, villas and summerhouses can be treated like bedrooms and apartments, i.e. to be let as a single unit.

Inbound tourism

Inbound tourism is defined as comprising the activities of non-residents travelling to a given country that is outside their usual environment, and staying there no longer than 12 consecutive months for leisure, business or other (corresponding) purpose.

Leisure trip

A leisure trip refers to the purpose and motive of a visit. Trips (visits) for leisure, recreation and holiday purposes outside the usual environment are mainly undertaken for relaxation. It is the visitor who decides to take the tourist trip as an activity unconnected with his/her occupation, and the trip is usually financed out of household funds.

In the Finnish travel survey all trips that do not come under the category of 'Business/congress trips' are considered leisure trips. This category covers trips to own holiday home, visits to friends and relatives, as well as leisure cruises and same-day visits.

Overnight stay

In the tourism statistics of the EU (Eurostat) an overnight stay is a statistical unit to measure both the volume of tourism, e.g. duration of stay on the supply side and duration of trip on the demand side. Number of nights spent (duration of stay) either in collective or private accommodation refers to the time spent during a visit measured from the standpoint of the receiving country or place.

On the other hand, the number of nights spent during a trip (duration of trip) measures the time a traveller spends away from home. In the tourism demand statistics (the Finnish Travel survey), the duration of a trip is classified by the number of nights spent into two main categories: short trips including 1-3 nights, and long trips including 4 or more nights. Overnight travelling by boat/ferry, train or other vehicle is included in the total number of nights spent during the trip. As regards tourism statistics, the maximum duration of stay in the destination place/country is 12 consecutive months.

Passenger transportation accounts

In the Balance of Payments passenger transportation services cover all services provided - between the compiling economy and abroad or between two foreign economies - in the international transportation of non-residents by resident carriers (credit) and that of residents by non-resident carriers (debit). Excluded are passenger services provided to non-residents by resident carriers within the resident economies; these are included in travel. In addition to the services covered by passenger fares - including fares that are a part of package tours - passenger services include such items as charges for excess baggage, vehicles, or other personal accompanying effects and expenditure on food, drink, or other items on which passengers make expenditures while on board carriers.

Place of residence

For the purpose of international/domestic tourism statistics, a person is considered to be a resident in a country/place where he/she has lived for most of the past 12 months. As regards international tourism, place of residence usually refers to the country of residence. As regards domestic tourism, place of residence is often defined as an administrative unit, like municipality or region.

Price per overnight

In the accommodation statistics of Statistics Finland price per overnight indicates the average price per overnight stay (VAT included), i.e. the average price a customer has paid for one night spent in an accommodation establishment.

Reason for trip

Purpose of visit refers to the motivation of the trip, the reason in the absence of which the trip would not have taken place. If a trip has more than one purpose (e.g. combined business and holiday trip) the main purpose of visit refers to the reason in the absence of which the trip would not have taken place or the given destination would not have been visited.

Rented cottage, holiday dwelling

In the tourism statistics, a rented cottage (chalet, bungalow) refers to a private rental tourist accommodation. As a mode of accommodation rented cottage can be compared to one's own holiday home. They are usually rented on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis, either direct from the owner or by a mediator. Accommodation in cottages (chalets, bungalows) provided by hotels, holiday villages or camping sites belongs to the category of collective accommodation establishments.

In Finland rented holiday dwellings located in the surroundings of tourists centres have increased rapidly in recent years. In the area of tourism centres rented holiday dwellings form a sort of holiday community, where, besides accommodation, dwellers are offered other services, like cleaning, laundry, waste disposal and other maintenance services. The dwellers can also use all the services offered in the centre, such as restaurant and catering services, shops, spas, ski lifts, ski slopes and tracks.

Room occupancy rate

Room occupancy rate indicates the ratio between occupied rooms and available rooms. Two variables of room occupancy are used in tourism statistics: net occupancy rate and gross occupancy rate. Net occupancy rate is obtained by dividing the number of rooms occupied by the number of rooms actually available in a given month, net of seasonal or other temporary closures. Gross occupancy rate is calculated by dividing the number of rooms occupied in a given month by the total number of rooms, irrespective whether the rooms are actually available or not.

Room price

In Statistics Finland's accommodation statistics, room price (room rate) indicates the average price (incl. VAT) per occupied room per day, i.e. the average price a customer has paid for a room for an overnight stay. The average room rate is calculated by dividing the sales revenue from sold rooms (VAT included) by the number of occupied rooms.

Tourist accommodation

Tourist accommodation refers to any facility that regularly or occasionally provides overnight accommodation for tourists. Accommodation can be chargeable or free.

Type of accommodation

Mode of accommodation refers to different means of lodging. In the accommodation statistics of Statistics Finland, overnight stays are broken down by means of lodging into the following groups: 1) room, cottage, chalet, bungalow 2) caravan, travel trailer, camper and 3) tent or other.

As mode of accommodation, lodging in cottages (chalets, bungalows) provided by hotels, holiday villages and camping sites is equivalent to lodging in rooms.

Type of accommodation establishment

In the accommodation statistics of Statistics Finland, accommodation establishments (hotels and similar establishments, tourist camping sites, holiday villages, youth hostels) are classified by certain characteristics to some 20 groups. The classification is informal and characterises the activity of an establishment. For instance, hotels are classified by type into the following groupings: conference/business hotels, spa hotels, summer hotels, resort hotels, estate hotels, residential hotels and motels.

Use of capacity

Use of accommodation capacity is measured by room and bed-place occupancy rates. Room occupancy rate is calculated by dividing the total number of rooms used in a given month by the number of rooms actually available for that month. The occupancy rate of bed-places is calculated by dividing the number of nights spent in a given month by the total number of available bed-places.

Usual environment

The usual environment of a person consists of the direct vicinity of his/her home and place of work or study and other places frequently visited (e.g. food shops, bank and other services). The concept of usual environment and, therefore, tourism has two dimensions: frequency and distance. Places which are frequently visited by a person (on a routine basis) are considered as part of the usual environment even though these places may be located at a considerable distance from the place of residence (e.g. weekly visits to one's own holiday home). On the other hand, places located close to the place of residence of a person are also part of the usual environment even if actual spots are rarely visited.

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Accommodation statistics [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-6325. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 22.12.2014].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/matk/kas_en.html.

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