Mallorca remains top sun spot for Swedish tourists

Spanish island Mallorca is the most popular holiday destination for Swedes in 2015, 60 years after the first charter plane touched down there.

Mallorca remains top sun spot for Swedish tourists
Playa Cala Major beach in Mallorca. Photo: TT
While Sweden is currently basking in record spring temperatures, a new poll suggests that 43 percent of Swedes are planning 
to travel abroad this summer with Mallorca the most popular location.
The island has been a magnet for Swedes for decades and 2015 marks 60 years since the first charter flights between the Nordic nation and the Spanish beach destination.
It even boasts its own Swedish-language newspaper, Mallorca Nyheter and Princess Birgitta, the sister of King Carl XVI Gustaf
has a home there. 
Mallorca is the largest of the Balearic Islands and is famous for its beautiful coastline, stunning mountains and growing food scene as well as its club and bar scene.
Spain is the favourite country overall for Swedish people booking summer breaks in 2015 according to the survey, which was carried out by pollsters Novus on behalf of Swedish travel agency Ticket.
Barcelona came eighth in the poll, with Malaga also edging into the top ten for the first time.
New York is another hot spot for Swedes, despite the krona dropping against the dollar in 2015.
Antalya in Turkey also scored highly, alongside Sardinia and Sicily in Italy.
Ticket said it suspected there had been a 'Pluras kök boost' in the region, fuelled by the success of Swedish television cooking show 'Pluras kök' (Plura's kitchen), which is shot in the mountains above Cefalu on Sicily.
Speaking to The Local on Thursday, one of Scandinavia's other large travel companies, Sembo, said it wasn't surprised that Spanish holiday destinations including Mallorca remained firm favourites for Swedes.
"Mallorca is the most popular destination for our customers too. There have been a lot of changes there from being a charter destination in the '60s to becoming much more modern. Hotels and restaurants have been redeveloped and of course the amazing beaches are still there," said press spokesperson Aud Bengtsson.
"I think it has something for everyone and also a lot of adults travelling there today went there with their kids, so they have a lot of good memories and want to share them."
For those earning salaries in krona, she suggested Croatia, Italy and the south of France as holiday spots where Swedes could still get a lot for their money, despite the currency fluctuating this year.
"In southern Europe food, drink and activities are still much cheaper than in Sweden," she added.
Spain welcomed record numbers of tourists in 2014 with 65 million foreign visitors to the country.
Nearly a quarter of all tourists were British, while France overtook Germany as the second biggest source of tourists.
The Nordic countries were grouped together in fourth place, bringing five million visitors to Spain, 3.5 percent more than in 2013.


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.