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Foreign tourists boost Swedish retail sales

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Foreign tourists boost Swedish retail sales
11:39 CEST+02:00
Last year was a bumper year for tourism in Sweden, with foreign tourists spending more money in Sweden than Swedish tourists spent overseas, according from retail group Svensk Handel.

Foreign visitors spent 93.6 billion kronor ($12.56 billion) on consumption in Sweden in 2009, meaning that the export value of tourism is higher than the total value of iron, steel and Swedish private cars.

Despite the fact that global travel declined during 2009 as a result of the financial crisis and recession, the number of overnight stays by foreigners in Sweden increased by 3 percent in 2009.

"It is primarily our Nordic neighbours, Germans and Poles who have come here," said Yvonne Ingman, Svensk Handel vice CEO.

"In Sweden there is the Kingdom of Crystal (Glasriket), the Kingdom of Furniture (Möbelriket) and the Kingdom of Cloth (Tygriket) for example. Souvenirs are no longer crystal vases and Dala horses," Ingman said.

Svensk Handel distinguishes between a "shopping tourist" and "tourist shopping". In the first category shopping is the primary purpose of the trip, for example a trip to cut-price superstore Gekås in Ullared. But not in the other case although once there the tourist goes shopping anyway.

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