Accommodation and catering business

Under the Act on Accommodation and Catering Services, the accommodation business operator is responsible for the passenger cards of the passengers arriving at the operator’s place of accommodation.

Accommodation business operations mean the offering of furnished rooms or other accommodation for customers in need of temporary accommodation on a professional basis. In practice, accommodation business can take different forms, such as hotels, motels, hostels or holiday resorts.

The act also covers farm tourism or accommodation and catering business at farms and professional bed and breakfast operations. The obligation concerning the passenger card also applies to camping site operators.

The passenger card may be completed by the passenger, the accommodation business operator or a member of his/her staff on the basis of the information provided by the passenger in advance. If the passenger is accompanied by his/her spouse and underage children, the details of all family members must be entered on the same passenger card.

The leader of a tour group may enter the details of all group members on a single passenger card. A group tour is a pre-arranged tour in which a group of persons takes part. The accommodation business operator must submit the passenger details of foreigners to the police department in the area of which the accommodation business in question is located.

Opening hours

The Act on Accommodation and Catering Services also contains provisions on the opening hours of catering businesses. As a rule, restaurants, cafés and places in which alcohol is served must close by 2 a.m.

If the place in which alcohol is served has been granted a licence under which it can continue to serve alcoholic beverages until half past two or half past three, the place must close 30 minutes after the ending of the service time at the latest (at three or at four o’clock).

The act also contains provisions on extended opening hours applying to night cafés. Under the act, a night café may also remain open between two and five o’clock provided that an appropriate notification has been submitted and that no alcoholic beverages are served or consumed at the café between these hours and that the extension of the opening hours is necessary on grounds of tourism or work-related travel, for people at work or for other justified reasons. A notification of the planned night café must be submitted to the police department in the area of which the restaurant is located.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is responsible for the drafting of the legislation on accommodation and catering services.

Further information: liisa.huhtala(at)