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Swedish travel industry sets record for 2007

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Swedish travel industry sets record for 2007
15:06 CET+01:00
Last year was a new record for the travel industry in Sweden and the forecast for 2008 remains optimistic, with bookings for this year and next looking strong.

Turnover for the three leading travel agencies rose 12 percent on average during 2007, to approximately 8 billion kronor ($1.3 billion). The companies also report soaring profits.

The travel industry benefited from a strong economy in 2007, which contributed to a steady rise in turnover and altogether higher profits.

At the same time, the companies haven't needed to hire too many additional employees, as internet bookings rose sharply, now representing around half of all bookings.

As a result, the big players like Fritidsresor, Ving and Apollo have recorded profits totaling nearly 1 billion kronor last year.

And concerns about the stock market and the economy as a whole don't seem to have put a damper on expectations for 2008.

“Last year about two million Swedes took chartered vacations. That's an increase of 10 percent and se don't see any sign of the travel industry cooling off,” said Pär Kjellin, head of travel company Apollo Sverige.

Bookings for Apollo and the other travel agencies look good so far for 2008, and for 2009.

“So far we've booked 44 percent more summer trips and 54 percent more winter trips for next year,” said Kjellin.

More and more travelers are choosing to spread out their vacations throughout the year, with an increasing number choosing winter vacations.

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