Finland: Summer season brisk at most Lapland hotels

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Contrary to dire predictions, hotels in northern Finland are doing solid business this summer. (Jonathan Nackstand / AFP)
Contrary to dire predictions, hotels in northern Finland are doing solid business this summer. (Jonathan Nackstand / AFP)
Many in the accommodation sector say that sales are up, even though tourist numbers are about the same as last year.

Contrary to dire predictions, hotels in northern Finland are doing solid business this summer. Sales are either risen or remained steady compared to last summer despite the economic slump and decline in Russian visitors.

Ari Vuorentausta, CEO of the Lapland Hotels chain, told Yle on Wednesday that this summer’s business has been satisfactory. The company runs a dozen hotels in resort areas and the city of Rovaniemi on the Arctic Circle.

Sales in June and July have risen by several percent compared to the same period of last year, with slightly more tourists visiting Finnish Lapland.

“Our group sales have grown slightly, while there’s been an encouraging rise of nearly 10 percent in the number of tourists,” he said.

Based on advance bookings, August looks to be about the same as in 2014 at Lapland Hotels.

Sales hike at Harriniva

The Harriniva group, which offers lodging and tour activities in five northern locations, has had quite a good summer so far, says sales and marketing director Niina Pietikäinen. At its largest hotel in Muonio, sales have been higher than last year – despite a slightly lower occupancy rate.

The company’s hotel in Kittilä, meanwhile, has been nearly fully booked all summer. That is partly thanks to business putting up workers building a nearby wind farm.

Up in Inari

At Inari in the far north, the Kultahovi hotel also reports an improvement in sales over last summer, with roughly the same number of visitors on hand.

While the Lapland Hotels chain reports a rise in the number of Finnish tourists, Kultahovi managers say the mix of foreign and domestic visitors has remained about the same as in 2014.

Related stories from around the North:

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Finland: Arctic parks among most visited in Finland, Yle News

Norway:  Surfing in the Arctic, Barents Observer

Russia:  Creating links across the Arctic – A look back on the Beringia Arctic Games, Eye on the Arctic

United States: Fish show traces of banned pesticides in some Alaska parks, Alaska Dispatch

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