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'Sweden has huge tourism potential': report

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'Sweden has huge tourism potential': report
07:31 CET+01:00
Sweden's official tourism organ VisitSweden has mapped the country's potential as a tourist destination and found that 43 million people would like to pay a visit.

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.

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?"

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