Airbnb shakes up tourism industry in northern Finland

Rovaniemi, the capital of Finnish Lapland, has just 60,000 permanent residents but attracts half a million visitors a year, with double-digit growth for a third year running.

A shortage of hotel beds in Rovaniemi during the winter season has spurred the usage of sharing economy services such as Airbnb, especially as increasing numbers of visitors are seeking flats or houses rather than hotel rooms during their stays. Growth in this sector has been rapid, as much as 150 percent a year. Nearly half of all new flats built in Rovaniemi are being snapped up by investors and hired out as short-term lodging. As the pace of apartment construction in Rovaniemi steps up and outpaces population growth, the Confederation of Finnish Construction Industries RT warns of the risk of a housing bubble in the area. According to Airbnb, last year there were more than 12,000 stays at some 500 Airbnb sites in Rovaniemi, up from 5,000 the year before, and the growth shows no sign of slackening this year.

- YLE -
15. 11. 2017