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TOURISM

Sweden runner up in ‘reputation’ ranking

Sweden has been placed second behind Canada in a ranking of countries with the best reputation in the world, in a new study linking a country's image with foreign investment and tourism receipts.

Sweden runner up in 'reputation' ranking

The study, from the New York-based Reputation Institute, measures the overall trust, esteem, admiration and good feelings the public holds towards these countries, as well as their perceptions across 16 different attributes.

“The study shows that a strong country reputation requires a solid performance across three different areas: having an advanced economy, an appealing environment and an effective government,” said Nicolas Georges Trad at the institute in a statement.

Canada heads the 2011 list, followed by Sweden, Australia, Switzerland and New Zealand.

The results are compiled from over 42,000 respondents worldwide and this is the third year that the Reputation Institute has released the study.

The study attributes the countries’ strong reputations due to their high GDP, focus on active lifestyles, developed political systems and perceived neutrality to political upheavals.

The lowest ranked countries were Pakistan, Iran and Iraq while the US and China were ranked in the middle and lower tiers respectively.

Financial and political turmoil in developed areas of the world took their toll on the 2011 results with countries across the board recording lower scores.

“One of the most interesting findings of this year’s study was the significant decrease in the average score of all countries measured, suggesting a growing cynicism people have towards countries, possibly due to recent developments in the world economy and a general loss of faith in politics worldwide,” the statement observed.

The study’s other major finding was that “reputation means money”. The study indicated that a country’s reputation had a very strong correlation with respondents’ desire to visit a country and to invest in its economy.

“When you consider that a 10 percent increase in your country’s reputation leads to an 11% rise in your tourism receipts, and a 2 percent increase in your FDI – this is something both countries and companies might want to take note of,” Kasper Nielsen at the institute said.

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TOURISM

Sweden launches bid to become world’s top tourism destination by 2030

Forget the pyramids, the canals of Venice or the Eiffel Tower – the Swedish government has presented a plan to make Sweden the world's most attractive tourism destination by 2030 – but it's not yet clear how.

Sweden launches bid to become world's top tourism destination by 2030
Many tourists are attracted to Sweden because of its nature. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

In a press conference on Monday, Sweden’s Minister for Business, Industry and Innovation Ibrahim Baylan outlined the new strategy, which aims to make Sweden “the world’s most sustainable and attractive tourism destination built on innovation” by 2030.

Baylan referred to Sweden as a country which “is usually ranked as one of the world’s most innovative countries”, which he argued can “create value for the tourism industry”.

According to Baylan, the strategy builds on “sustainability’s three dimensions – it has to be environmentally, socially and economically sustainable”. The strategy will also “tie into the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030”, he said.

Topics covered by the new tourism strategy include the climate impact of tourism, equality and inclusion in the tourism industry and the importance of preserving shared resources such as national parks and sustainable nature tourism such as fishing and hunting.

The press release highlights the importance of natural tourism, explaining that the pandemic has led to people visiting natural and cultural environments “to a greater extent than before”, increasing wear and tear to natural areas.

DISCOVER SWEDEN: The Local’s guide to Sweden’s top destinations and hidden gems

Tourism is an important industry for Sweden, providing employment in both urban and rural areas, as well as generating wealth – before the coronavirus pandemic, the tourism industry represented on average 2.7 percent of Sweden’s GDP per year. The tourism industry also employs a high amount of people from foreign backgrounds – making up over a third (34 percent) of all employees in the industry.

During the pandemic, overnight stays declined in almost every Swedish municipality, with the biggest declines seen in Sweden’s larger cities and border municipalitites.

The government’s plans also include a focus on jobs and skill development, so that workers have the right qualifications for the industry – this reflects issues currently faced by the restaurant and hotel industry in finding skilled workers in the wake of the pandemic. 

There are currently no details as to how the government will achieve this strategy, or indeed how it will measure success. But Sweden is aiming high if it wants to be the world’s most attractive tourist destination by 2030. In 2019, it was ranked the 54th top tourist destination in the world by the UN World Tourism Organisation.

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