Demand for hotel, restaurant and travel services in Finland increased significantly during the final quarter of 2010 and the growth is expected to continue this year, according to the Finnish Hospitality Association MaRa.
Last autumn’s growth engines were the improved demand for hotel accommodation and increased food sales due to a reduction in the VAT introduced for restaurant food in July 2010. The consumption of alcohol, however, has continued its decline. In Finland only 10% of alcohol consumption now takes place in restaurants.
The total sales of the hotel, restaurant and travel services in Finland increased by about 1.5% in 2010 compared to the previous year. The second half of the year saw the biggest growth, with the value of sales increasing by 4% and the volume by 5% compared to the same period in 2009.
The sales of hotel accommodation increased by 3.5% in 2010 and the room occupation rate was about 51%, showing a 2% increase on the year before. The value of sales for restaurants serving alcohol increased by almost 2%, while sales in fast food restaurants grew by 3.5%. The sales of catering companies fell by 3.5% in 2010.
Demand in the hotel, restaurant and travel services sector is expected to grow faster in 2011 than last year. In addition to the cut in VAT, a predicted drop in the household savings rate and the continuation of the general growth of the economy will boost the positive development of the sector, which may reach its pre-recession level in 2013.
Source: Finnish Hospitality Association MaRa.