Weak krona means less travel but more visitors

With the krona at its lowest level since 2002, overseas travel is set to become expensive this summer.

Anders Eklöf, currency analyst at Föreningssparbanken, thinks the krona’s current weakness is due to the Riksbank’s lowering of interest rates, which was larger than expected.

The dollar and euro have become much more expensive, making many overseas holidays less attractive for Swedes.

“The obvious consequence is that it’s cheaper to stay home,” said Eklöf. “The dollar and euro are significantly more expensive for Swedes. But at the same time, we’ll maybe see more tourists coming to Sweden, since it’s cheaper for people coming from Euroland.”

Eklöf predicted that the krona would strengthen towards the end of the year.

At the vanguard of any foreign invasion will be the Danes. Sweden’s southerly neighbours already account for nearly 5% of retail trade in Skåne. This figure is set to rise over the next months. Twenty years ago, a Danish krona cost 80 öre, now it costs 1,26 Swedish kronor.

Stephan Muechler of the Southern Swedish Chamber of Commerce told SvD that the price-savvy Danes are always careful to bring their own cheap beer and are quite focused in their shopping on this side of the Öresund:

“They mostly buy clothes and shoes and get their cars repaired or serviced here. Danish consumers keep a close eye on the exchange rate. They’re highly price sensitive.”

In the last two years, three of Sweden’s largest shopping centres have opened in southern Sweden to take advantage of Danish trade: Väla outside Helsingborg, Nova outside Lund and Fields in Örestad.

But despite the booming trade, Muechler says that Swedish businesses could still do much more to cash in:

“They must improve their marketing. They could do more campaigns in Denmark, for example,” he said.

Sources: Svenska Dagbladet, Sveriges Radio

Front page photo: Magnus Rierz, Copyright: Johnér Bildbyrå, Source: imagebank.sweden.se