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Sweden tourism heads for new record year

TT/The Local/pvs · 9 Jun 2011, 08:08

Published: 09 Jun 2011 08:08 GMT+02:00

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"We have had seven years in a row of all time highs. If this development continues we'll have an eighth record year," said Thomas Brühl at Visit Sweden - the Swedish tourist board.

Overnight stays by foreign tourists in hotels, chalets and hostels in Sweden increased by 3 percent during the first four months of 2011, in comparison to the corresponding period of 2010, the figures from the agency and Statistics Sweden (SCB) show.

Overnight stays climbed 17 percent in April.

According to Visit Sweden, which works to promote Sweden overseas, the large rise in April can be explained by investments in marketing Sweden abroad, with for example major advertising campaigns in key tourist countries.

A further explanation is that the ash cloud from the Eyafjallajökul volcano impacted air traffic last year, hitting tourism figures for the month.

The Chinese and Americans are two groups which have shown a greater interest in visiting Sweden, with tourist numbers up 30 and 13 percent respectively.

"The markets which fell the most when the crisis hit, and among those are included the USA and China, are those which have now recovered the most," said Thomas Brühl.

One of Sweden's most popular offbeat destinations - the Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi - announced on Thursday that it plans to open its doors for the summer season for the first time.

Story continues below…

The Ice Hotel plans to offer three suites made purely of ice contained in a warehouse, complete with columns, chandeliers and polar bear carvings.

Many of the hotel's visitors have expressed a wish for the hotel to remain open in the summer.

"We often have guests who are here for the summer and who look for the Ice Hotel and are left disappointed when they don't find anything," said press spokesperson Camilla Bondareva.

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

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Your comments about this article

10:22 June 9, 2011 by Rishonim
Sweden has the potential to attract much more tourism. The main problem is the lack of imagination from those responsible. One can drive from Stockholm down to Kalmar (420) kilometres and only find a few places to grab a bite. The rest areas are really depressing, you can hardly find a place to burst a leak or even worst take decent dump. There are no repair shops, the gas stations sucks. Imagine if a tourist car breaks down at 20:00, he or she will be in great stress trying to find help. Take Dalarna and Hälsingland for example; these are two places with beautiful lakes and landscape but you will find tourist walking around with nothing to do and not even a decent place to eat. Well, thank G-d for the creative thinking Kebab/pizza shops. If it wasn't for them, many tourist will only be able to eat bread they were lucky to find at the local and depressing ICA.
11:38 June 9, 2011 by Gletta
Quite right Rishonim. Tourist infrastructure outside of the main centres is poor, yet opportunities are vast. Bet the figures are an increase for mainly Stockholm or Stromstad with thousands of Norwegians. I attended world travel market in London last year. The only area being promoted was Stockholm
12:27 June 9, 2011 by Rishonim
Gletta, Sweden has a beautiful nature and the lakes are some of the most peaceful anywhere. Yet, as you mentioned they only promote Stockholm. They need to know how to sell the country as a whole and stop breaking it up in pieces. The embassies and consulates around the world should do more to promote Sweden. You know that according to tripadvisor, Mcdonald's is the top restaurant in Dalarna?
15:17 June 9, 2011 by Prat
Poor access to toilets in central Stockholm hurts tourists & resident shoppers. Sweden and its big scum companies seem inhumane.

Finding a toilet at NK is difficult, then we must pay 10 kronor...

Stay home! Or leave your feelings on the wall & floor.
16:17 June 9, 2011 by eppie

That might be true, but you would change the whole atmosphere of the country. Not everybody wants to go on holiday in Swedens countryside, and those who do often appreciate the calm and quietness. Luckily tourism is not so important for Sweden as it is for e.g. the southern european countries, so the drive to make the country in another disneyland is not there......and I think that is a good thing. If you see how countries like Spain and Italy get ruined by the larger and larger tourism infrastructure.....you would not want that.
16:55 June 9, 2011 by Swedesmith
I would hate to see the highways and biways of Sweden become all "touristed up". Billboards, chain restaurants, cheesy petting zoos , scads of fat touirists wearing bad hawiian shirts...yuck. A few well-placed and well maintained rest areas along the highway might be nice, but one of the main appeals of Sweden is it's natural beauty.
17:17 June 9, 2011 by Dogs_Gonads
What about the foreign tourist with a holiday Stuga. Are we included in these figures.
17:53 June 9, 2011 by swedejane
Today, while eating lunch in downtown Göteborg, I saw two obviously American tourists...it was embarrassing sitting there with my german friend watching these two hippos, with their baseball caps, camera gear, and pleated khaki shorts, come waddling down the street towards us. I said, 'I bet 10-1 they're american' My friend turned around, looked, and agreed. Sure enough, as they passed I could pick out their distinctive midwestern accent.

Point being, as a matter of personal pride, I could do without more american tourists in Sweden when they seem to come in only one size: large and tacky.
18:38 June 9, 2011 by Rick Methven
Generally, I like the lack of tourist razzmatazz outside of the cities, but there is a need for more facilities in some areas.

2 km from us is Berg Slussar on the Gota Kanal, it attracts lots of visitors from May to September when the canal is open boats bus trips camper vans, cyclists - the lot. There are 2 restaurants a couple of kiosks and a vandrahem that are all owned by the same guy, in May he only opens at weekend, is theoretically open all week from June to August but if the sun is not shining he closes. The prices he charges are a rip off like 170kr for a burger that has never been near a cow and even 10kr for a glass of tap water. He does not give a damn about service because you have no choice, he is just out to maximise his profit in a short time. everybody is complaining but he uses influence to get any new application for another cafe refused by either the kommun or the Kanal bolaget.
18:53 June 9, 2011 by Rishonim
Swedejane, and I am quite certain you fit the stereotype of a Swedish girl. Xtra large wide hips and no breast ;-)
20:44 June 9, 2011 by calebian22
"He does not give a damn about service because you have no choice"

That sums up buying anything in Sweden. Twice the price and half the quality.
21:01 June 9, 2011 by mkvgtired
swedejane, I love outdoor activities. I would consider myself in shape, and I certainly don't "waddle". But your attitude is definitely not exclusive to you. I have met Swedes abroad that have told me I am not a "typical American". Yet when I ask them how many Americans they have hung out with it is usually zero. Even when I was traveling with a group of 6 guys, by default Swedes we met abroad disliked us. Once they got to know us they realized they actually liked us, and gave all 6 of us the "not typical American" accreditation (they also did not hang out with Americans). I have been told this by Brits, Aussies, Germans, and Dutch people but they are the exceptions and not the rule, as it seems to be with Swedes. The people of other nationalities that have told me this also do not hang out with American people.

Point being, I have no interest in visiting Sweden based on Swedes I've met elsewhere. Overall they have ended up being nice, but it is much harder to get to know someone when you have to start at such a disadvantage. If I want to do outdoor activities in Europe I will revisit the German/Austrian Alps area or go to the Eastern European alps. Despite what people on the Local say, Swedes seem to hold all Americans (even the in shape ones) in very low regard and treat them all as "guilty until proven innocent". When I am on vacation anywhere the most enjoyable part of my vacation is usually meeting nice fun people from other cultures to hang out with, so it seems I would probably have as much visiting Sweden as you would have hosting another American.
04:31 June 10, 2011 by carlosperez2
I visited Sweden in 2010 and I really enjoyed my stay. The people I met couldn't have been nicer and helpful. I can get by in Swedish so that helped break the ice barrier, as Swedes are usually very reserved until you get to know them. I found that the infrastructure that is in place for tourist works just fine. Excellent public transportation, beautiful sights, clean safe cities, a land of great natural beauty - Can't wait to go back next year!
07:15 June 10, 2011 by Zia Ahmed
This is too much. I am also visiting Norrkoping Sweden after 3 months. I think my visit very nice due to stay in Sweden. I love Sweden.....
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