More positives could be in the making for Nordic Camping, albeit with a bittersweet taste.
The company which is currently hugely benefiting from the great summer weather in Sweden (see our recent post), has a collaboration with the Swedish Migration Board (“Migrationsverket”). During the off-season, the company offers temporary housing for asylum-seekers in 6 out of its 12 camping grounds. In its Q1 2014 report Nordic Camping wrote:
“The first quarter is traditionally a weak quarter for the camping industry, with fixed costs and preparations for the upcoming season are burdening the result. This year our occupancy has been higher than the year before, mainly due to the cooperation with the Swedish Migration Board and more guests with long-term stays at our other facilities….The close cooperation with the Swedish Migration Board is received very positively by employees, neighbours and the tenants themselves….”
Primarily the tragic events in Syria have caused the Swedish Migration Board to hike its estimates for the number of expected asylum-seekers for Sweden substantially last week. Swedish migration minister Tobias Billström called the situation “extreme”.
In the most recent estimate from April, the Swedish Migration Board expected 61,000 asylum-seekers for Sweden in 2014. Now, the number was increased to 80,000 and officials leave room for a possible increase to 89,000.
The main reason for the estimate hike are the war in Syria, but several different conflicts also contribute to the increased flow of refugees. It is obvious that the increasing number of refugees will need additional housing facilities and we believe it is reasonable to assume that Nordic Camping is a natural speaking partner for the Swedish Migration Board, given the positive experience from the previous cooperation. Ideally, this will lead to an even higher occupancy rate during the off-season than last year, which should be a major positive for fixed cost absorption.