Foreign tourists flood to Sweden

Sweden is being discovered by an increasing number of foreign tourists, with the country's hotels reporting a booming 2006.

The number of nights spent by foreigners in Swedish hotels, holiday homes, youth hostels and campsites increased by nearly 9 percent last year, according to figures from Nutek, the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth.

Overall figures, including Swedes holidaying at home, showed the number of guest nights rising 6.3 percent to 48 million in 2006. Overall income from tourist accommodation was estimated to have risen 9 percent to nearly 17 billion kronor.

Business travel accounted for much of the increase.

Since 1991, the number of foreign guest nights in Sweden has increased by 95 percent. According to figures from the United Nations’ World Tourism Organization, international tourism has increased worldwide by 90 percent in the same period.

“Tourism in Sweden is bigger than ever. In order to create a competitive tourist industry in Sweden in the long term, public-sector efforts need to be coordinated,” said Nutek general director Sune Halvarsson.