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'Sweden has huge tourism potential': report

TT/The Local/pvs · 30 Dec 2010, 07:31

Published: 30 Dec 2010 07:31 GMT+01:00

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Inward tourism to Sweden has increased steadily in recent years with 2010 set to be a seventh consecutive record year, according to a VisitSweden statement on Thursday.

But the company, which has been contracted by the Swedish state and Swedish business and has the responsibility to market the country overseas, argues that significant potential remains.

"The growth potential of Swedish tourism in the future exists amongst potential foreign visitors, such as active young couples from European cities. This is clearly shown by accommodation statistics over the last few years," said Thomas Brühl, CEO of VisitSweden.

Brühl argued that knowledge about Sweden internationally is on the increase, although competition for tourists is tough in an international perspective.

"The challenge for the Swedish tourism industry is to create a curiosity for Sweden which will result in concrete travel plans. That is what we plan to do with the help of efficient and unexpected marketing campaigns."

Among the attractions set to be used to tempt record numbers of tourists to Sweden include: dog-sled tours in Lappland, fashion shopping, "lifeseeing" in Stockholm and Gothenburg, as well as lobster safaris along Sweden's west coast.

"With a focus on long-term sustainability, Swedish tourism shall double its turnover by 2020," Thomas Brühl predicted, although underlined that as travellers become more savvy and worldly-wise Swedish tourism operators need to be better at meeting guest demands.

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VisitSweden's analysis is based on interviews with a representative sample of people aged between 25 and 64 from Denmark, Finland, Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, Britain, France, Italy, Spain and the USA.

Respondents have answered the question "Do you have plans to visit Sweden on vacation within the next three years?"

TT/The Local/pvs (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:27 December 30, 2010 by peterjames.org
My answer to VisitSweden is: yes, I plan to visit in the next 3 years. I am hoping the permanent ABBA museum is built in Stockholm, and the group reunites to open it and they perform at least one song at the tribute concert in their honor.

Plus, with the way the US economy and general trend toward fascism is going in this country, my family and I may look to seek political asylum in Sweden sometime in the future. Whereas Sweden maybe moving slightly to its right (Reinfeldt's coalition) it is nowhere near the coming wave of insanity in 2012 with the potential President Sarah Palin.
09:58 December 30, 2010 by Keith #5083
"If we could see ourselves as others see us" is the phrase that springs to mind".20+ years I have been here with Deer and Elk wandering up my pathway,300 lakes in my kommune, forests as far as the eye can see and lovely people ( only 12 per square kilometre) in Dalsland..

20+ years and I still do not understand the lack of positive attitude and action by kommunes about tourism.

Sometimes I fear that Sweden does not realise the magnificence of what it has...relatively low cost EU holidays in breathtaking countryside. Cosmopolitan cities of beauty and much interest.

It ain't no use having the potential if you haven't got the vision :) Must be all the trees get in the way....?
10:10 December 30, 2010 by UScitizen
@ Keith #5083

Sounds like you want the next 20 years in Dalsland to be French and Germans wandering up your pathway, 300 lakes clogged with tour boats, forests with trash as far as the eye can see, and fat sweaty tourist (about 12 per square metre). Be thankful for what you have
11:04 December 30, 2010 by occassional
Ramadan is a particularly nice month to visit Sweden
11:26 December 30, 2010 by Localer
i never see any ad or campaign anywhere, where is the ad or so ? not in TV or sign boards.......anywhere
12:46 December 30, 2010 by charubun pananon
1. For the Asian, travel expenditures in Sweden is quite expensive.

2. Since terrorism attack in Sweden, Sweden should pay more attention in keeping the safety in the country for tourists can be sure of their safety while they travel in Sweden.
13:02 December 30, 2010 by Great Scott
43 Million people would like to pay a visit, thats not very good. It means 5.99 billion would not like to pay a visit. Also like to is different to actual, when they see how expensive it is.
14:11 December 30, 2010 by Steggles
My first overseas visit was to Sweden in 2006 and I have been back every year since........and will do so again in 2011.
14:11 December 30, 2010 by Acero
Yeah, I think I must agree with "Great Scott"...Sweden is just way to expense..and getting more expensive by the month it seems!

This typifies exactly how Sweden sees itself and markets itself internationally. "We are a great country (as we keep telling everyone) and we live in a beautiful country, so WHY would people NOT want to visit"......and its the same with trying to lure international businesses to Sweden.."why would you NOT want to be here with all the top class infastructure we can offer you"....WHY?

--Because Sweden is just too expensive....and there is just way too much red tape (for businessness)....and by red tape I mean business and employee costs.
15:04 December 30, 2010 by Swedesmith

Exactly! Spread the word: Sweden is a terrible place...everything is too expensive, it's always cold and the food is rotgut. Don't travel there....leave it nice and pristine for me.
15:35 December 30, 2010 by landofthesheeple
@ occasional

Seems like with recent events, it also has Terrorist potential : )

However, The Winter has brought quite a bit of snow to the northern region, which should make for some great snow sking.
15:51 December 30, 2010 by occassional

oh yes it's lovely otherwise.
18:03 December 30, 2010 by charliedog
I am British and have a small 'stuga' near Vasteras. The stuga was very cheap to buy and it is cheap to run. It's cheap to fly to Vasteras from London Stansted and the things I really love about Sweden are free (the forests, lakes, and wildlife). Sure eating out and buying stuff is expensive but I'm sure there are plenty of folk like me that enjoy the special things sweden offers, and I'm amazed there aren't more tourists (but also a little pleased)
21:35 December 30, 2010 by dt804a
Response to SwedeSmith (#10):

I am pleased to you wish to keep Sweden all for yourself and Tourists-rein. I, for one, would not set foot in any EUrabian country, Sweden included, because of the EU pro-Jihadist and anti-Israel policies. Any country that sucks up to Hamas and the PA will never see one cent of my tourist dollar.
22:52 December 30, 2010 by EtoileBrilliant
...and until its fixes it's poor hotels and expensive food, it will always "have a huge tourist potential"
01:59 December 31, 2010 by Ivan Juric
I was in Sweden during August....I really like Sweden in general. People are nice, the place is safe. The only thing lacking for tourism is the lack of cafe life and many towns in Sweden resemble a ghost town on Sundays....
13:29 December 31, 2010 by hjoian
where is the help for small buisnesses to start up tourist type holidays? I was laughed at when seeking some help for a small venture that would encourage tourism in the local area. I really dont think a lot of Swedes want the visitors.
14:51 December 31, 2010 by sneal
@dt804a - we don't want you here anyway, so keep your redneck arse outta here.

I think its good to have tourists, but I think they need to be careful here because obviously Swede's love their country and their environment and would not take too kindly to tourists coming in and ruining it. And now that I live here, I feel the exact same way. And Sweden definitely does not want what happens to other countries (ex. Greece) which a lot of income is based on tourism only.
14:55 December 31, 2010 by fauna
Great! although....first Sweden should learn to set up proper restaurants, not prison canteens where you have to queue with your tray to get your sad portion of köttbullar and then bring back the tray to the suitable place. Table Service is the least people expect when on holidays and it is no much to ask for, swedish restaurants are sad, communist and lack the joy of living
00:30 January 1, 2011 by dt804a
Response to Ivan Juric (#16) who writes, "the place (Sweden) is safe" and to Sneal (#18) who writes "its good to have tourists, but I think they need to be careful ".

If you read the news, then you both know just how "safe" Sweden is. For example, See article "Anti-Semitic attack in Goetenborg", at http://swedenisrael.blogspot.com/2010/12/anti-semitic-attack-in-goteborg.html.

I am not Jewish, but I have learnt from history that a place that is unsafe for Jews, soon becomes unsafe for all. So when I read that "Wiesenthal Center on Malmö: Jews Must Exercise Extreme Caution", as in


then I know to keep out of such a country. And then there is the latest terrorist attack in Stockholm... Yes, Sweden has become a proud member of EUrabia...
01:27 January 1, 2011 by DAVID T
Go to Iraq instead - it's warmer and the food is better - other than that it's just the same
10:27 January 1, 2011 by Ivan Juric
to DT804A I do respect your opinion but my life does not revolve around the Wiesenhal centre. Does the Wiesenthal Centre also point out that Israeli jeeps obstruct arab kids from getting home from school...hence kids start throwing stones so the soldiers can tear gas canister them...
12:17 January 1, 2011 by sneal
@ dt804A - what business do you have on the local if you don't live here and are not coming here? And isn't Israel at "war" now......seems to me your logic is absolutely ridiculous and you listen and watch way too much media.
16:32 January 1, 2011 by cogito
@#1 Peter James

While it is true that Obama wants to stifle freedom of speech, has ruined foreign relations and tripled the debt, "trend to fascism" is a bit strong, no?

On precisely what grounds do you intend to apply for political asylum in Sweden?
17:40 January 1, 2011 by Smiling Canuk
I can see lots of Brits and German tourists flooding into Sweden for a taste of the Swedish "wilderness". To the Brits, Germans and many other over crowded Euros, Sweden will seem like a great place for lakes and remote places. For a Canadian or American however, there is nothing along those lines that we can't already get over here in a much bigger scale and at a much cheaper price. The reason for any N.A. tourist to visit Sweden is the same reason we visit any other Euro country - for the history and charming old world architecture.
17:56 January 1, 2011 by cogito
The perennial failure of the official tourist authority to draw tourists to Sweden inspires a suggestion: instead of wasting taxpayers' money on this bureaucracy, close it.

Apply the money saved toward lowering the tax on alcohol in restaurants, so that visitors can have a glass of wine for less than 100-125 kronor.
21:54 January 1, 2011 by babs123
Based on my personal experience, i realize that there is a lot of mixed feelings about people coming from other countries in Sweden community.There may be a history to it but thats what i experienced.

When we talk about tourism, its not only about visiting museums or clubs but its more about people and culture.It is little bit surprising to sense ignorance in Swedes about other culture and communities.I realize that people here live with preconcieved notion and they have really no clue about whats really happening in the world.

I guess this is the least we can expect as a tourist!

I have been to other parts of Scandinavia like Finalnd & Denmark. But i am sad to say that i would love to visit these places rather than coming to Sweden.
14:02 January 2, 2011 by jarvtrask
Sweden is a brilliant travel destination, but those involved in marketing it, from local agencies right up to VisitSweden have a very poor understanding of how to bring tourists in. There is an appalling complacency at the heart of it. They are clearly failing, despite rising number, and there are good reasons why they are failing, but they do not want to hear that, and so are unlikely to tap into that huge potential any time soon. They are missing a huge open goal, with the UK market in particular, largely because they are not targeting the people most likely to visit. Ask 100 brits where they are thinking of taking a holiday this year and I'd be surprised if even one of them says "Sweden".

There is way too much focus upon the obvious winter/santa centred tourism, which the Finns have pretty much got sewn up anyway. Sweden is at its most glorious in the summer. It is not especially expensive these days, the eurozone has seen to that, but VisitSweden have not got themselves in place to exploit that fact.

I watch what they do closely, and with some amusement. Still, I'm sure they are happily picking up the government cheque. If they are meeting targets, then the targets are obviously set at pitifully modest levels.

Individual concerns such as Treehotel have made a much bigger splash in the UK than anything the national/regional agencies have come up with. Have any of you seen the Swedish Lapland Lotto game on Facebook? It's a hoot.

Still, this is Sweden we are talking about. I can't see much changing, and those regions that really could benefit from increased tourism, like Swedish Lapland for instance, will have to find other solutions to their economic difficulties.

That's unless someone in the Swedish Government wakes up and starts asking some questions.
15:59 January 2, 2011 by Rick Methven
@cogito"While it is true that Obama wants to stifle freedom of speech, has ruined foreign relations"

Yup Obama has really ruined those good foreign relations that Bubba set up; LOL
16:32 January 2, 2011 by cogito
@ Rick M. And yet again you demonstrate the ignorance on which your opinions are based: "Bubba" is the nickname for Bill Clinton.

It is generally agreed that his greatness weakness, apart from skirt-chasing, was foreign affairs.

17:05 January 2, 2011 by Rick Methven
Oh so sorry, I meant your lord and and mentor George W Bush who was so well known as the master of diplomacy that he had all the world kissing his boots. But now that a'hole Obama has gone and broken all the good relations good ole George worked so hard to build
17:54 January 2, 2011 by cogito
Yes. Obama destroyed the excellent relations that Bush had forged with, for example, Japan, China, Indonesia, India. You cannot help that you are woefully uninformed about the rest of the world as you probably get your information from Swedish TV and radio. You really need to get out more.

But OK, Asia doesn't exist in your world-view; so we'll stick to Europe: In his naivete and arrogance, Obama managed to offend Prime Minister Brown; Angela Merkel of Germany does the eye-roll when O. talks; President Sarkozy called him "dangerously deranged." I could go on, but here, read and learn: "Europe's disappointment with Obama laid bare"

18:26 January 2, 2011 by Rick Methven
Again you take your world view from your favourite TV channel which is of course Fox News.

Where ( apart from Fox) is the evidence that the US relationship with Japan, China, Indonesia ( where Obama lived) and India was screwed up by Obama.

You really live in a fantasy world where everybody in the whole wide world Luuuved G.W.Bush.

Get real and accept that Obama has been steadily undoing the harm that 8 years of Bush did to the standing of the USA in the world.
20:56 January 2, 2011 by sneal
@ Rick, I think you mean "faux news" ;o) ....and wow hard to believe that people still believe and watch that crap....
12:50 January 3, 2011 by cogito

Is sputtering "Fox" the best you've got? FYI, Fox news is not available in Sweden. Do you ever get anything right?

My earlier source was an Australian paper. This one was a U.K. paper:

"President Barack Obama has recently completed the most successful foreign policy tour since Napoleon's retreat from Moscow. You name it, he blew it."


Do you have any sources for your claims? Or just barstool sputter?
14:01 January 3, 2011 by Keith #5083

Unfortunately I belong to that extravagant, eccentric, group of peeps that feels a good thing is worth sharing. I don't remember saying I wasn't thankful - just that I was perfectly happy to share the magnificence.

Though I can perfectly well understand your US point of view.....?

As for the 'other EU nations here in Sweden', most in my area that have bought holiday homes treasure and respect the countryside, the lifestyle and the community. Maybe it's just an 'inbred old culture' thing....!
14:51 January 5, 2011 by cogito
"Among the attractions set to be used to tempt record numbers of tourists to Sweden include: dog-sled tours in Lappland, fashion shopping, "lifeseeing"...

Fashion shopping? You do not need to visit Sweden to shop at H&M.


Dear Official Tourist Authority,

Fire yourselves.
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