There is room for growth in the market for apartment hotels in Finland, according to the Finnish business newspaper Kauppalehti. For example, the Finnish company Kotihotelli Oy has expanded its capacity rapidly this year, first acquiring Domin Rental Apartments which has about 20 apartments in the Helsinki city centre, and then opening a hotel with 30 apartments in a converted office building in Leppävaara, Espoo.
According to Hannu Junkkaala, CEO and major shareholder of Kotihotelli Oy, the company has enjoyed an occupancy rate of about 85% compared to the average occupancy rate of about 60% for normal hotels in Finland. Kotihotelli’s typical customers are foreign companies requiring accommodation for employees temporarily working in Finland. Prices in the apartment hotels are significantly lower than in normal hotels. Kotihotelli charges EUR 75 euros per night for a one-room apartment, EUR 100 for a two-room apartment, and EUR 120-150 euros per night for a family apartment.
There are currently four major companies in the apartment hotel market in the Helsinki region: Forenom which has a 50% market share, Hellsten Hotels Apartments (15%), Kotihotelli (10%), and Sato Hotellikoti which is the only company that owns all its properties. “All the others have acted like Kotihotelli, meaning that they have rented the apartments from the open market and turned them into apartment hotels,” says Junkkaala. Kotihotelli’s turnover in 2012 was EUR 2 million.
An increasing number of other companies and private investors are also buying apartments and offering temporary accommodation services in Finland, according to Timo Lappi, Chief Executive of the Finnish Hospitality Association in an interview with Kauppalehti.