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Holiday sales reach record high in Sweden

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Holiday sales reach record high in Sweden
11:06 CET+01:00
In the dark days between Christmas and New Year, Swedes gather their families, celebrate the season and – buy package holidays to the sun. For 2012 the numbers of holidays sold is at a record high.

“We're above last years numbers already, and that was in itself an all time high,“ said information director Lottie Knutsson of travel agency Fritidsresor to news agency TT.

The rush to buy holidays started already on Christmas Day and during the days leading up to New Years Eve the pressure has been on for Swedish travel agencies.

Travel agency Apollo has already sold 39 percent more summer holidays than during the same period last year.

Competitor Ving reports that they are experiencing the same boom, as was recorded last year, selling for a whopping 110 million kronor ($16 million) a day.

The days between Christmas and New Year, as well as the month of January, are traditionally the year's strongest sales period for travel agencies in Sweden.

“During Christmas and New Year, families are gathered and many spend time planning next year's holiday,” said Magdalena Öhrn of VIng.

Another reason for the boom could be falling prices on package holidays.

“The strengthened krona will show its effects this summer, so our prices have decreased as a consequence,” said Apollo's Kajsa Moström.

The darkness of the season and this year's lack of snow in many parts of the country could also have awakened Swedes' wish for sun and warmth, she said.

“And more and more people have discovered Turkey, which is the destination that is dominating at the moment and has rocketed in our sales,” Öhrn told TT.

When Swedes don't choose Turkey, they tend to go for Mediterranean islands such as Crete, Majorca and Rhodes. Cyprus is also a continued hot destination for Swedes in need of a bit of sun.

Another trend for the 2012 season seems to be that an increasing number of people want to travel far away, even for short breaks. The package deals selling out first were reportedly week-long trips to Thailand, Mexico and Kenya.

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