Record windfall from foreign tourists

Record windfall from foreign tourists
Sweden's tourist industry is growing at a record pace with revenue from foreign tourists last year outstripping income from the country's main export industries, according to new figures.

In 2007 foreign guests spent 88 billlion kronor ($14 billion) in Sweden, an increase of 12 percent on the year before, reports Nutek, the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth.

The Swedish tourist industry’s turnover grew by 4.4 percent to 236 billion kronor last year, while a total of 12,000 new full-time jobs were created in the industry, up 8 percent on figures for 2006.

The tourist industry’s export value is now greater than that of the iron and steel industries (77.3 billion kronor) and the car industry (69.7 billion).

“The tourist industry is growing very quickly. In order to maintain a competitive industry we neeed a more cohesive policy for public investment,” said Nutek director general Sune Halvarsson in a statement.

“The state, as owner and administrator of a number of attractive resources, such as natural and cultural environments, has a crucial role to play in the tourist industry’s future development opportunities,” he added.