Swedish teen dies in Turkey coach crash

A young Swedish man died Friday in an accident involving a tourist coach in southern Turkey with several more Swedes injured, two critically.

Swedish teen dies in Turkey coach crash

A Danish woman also died in the crash.

The Swedes were heading back to their hotels in Alanya after an outing with the Ving tour company to the Taurus Mountains when the accident occurred late in the afternoon.

Of the 27 on board, 13 were Swedes. and the remainder were Danish and Norwegian. According to a report by the Ritzau news agency a 68-year-old Danish woman also died in the crash.

Turkish media have reported that the deceased Swede was 15-years-old and was travelling with relatives, according to Ving.

The injured bus passengers were taken to three different hospitals following the crash and of the Swedish contingent, ten remain in care, with two in a critical condition, said Charlotte Hallencreutz at Ving.

Hallencreutz said that Ving had staff in attendance in all of the hospitals.

“We are doing everything we can to provide support to the victims and to those who lost a family member. We are also in contact with the Norwegian Seamen’s Church which have representatives there for those who want to talk and we have had contact with SOS,” she said.

The Swedish Foreign Ministry has been informed about the accident and staff from the Consulate General in Istanbul will travel to Alanya on Saturday.

The exact cause of the accident remained unclear on Saturday morning, according to Charlotte Hallencreutz, who confirmed that a police investigation is underway.

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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.