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Record bookings boost at Swedish camp sites

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Record bookings boost at Swedish camp sites
Swedish camp sites are set for a record summer. Photo: Rob Vanstone/SCR
11:38 CEST+02:00
Swedish camp sites are well positioned to break all records this summer as foreign tourists flock to the Nordic country, according to an industry survey.

A total of 53 percent of the 228 caravan and camp sites polled by industry organisation SCR Swedish Camping reported that they had already received more bookings for the period between June and August than last year. 

And 40 percent said more foreign tourists had organised themselves a spot at one of Sweden's many camp sites compared to last summer.

“We've seen a rising interest for many years,” marketing and communications director Martin Juhos told The Local on Friday.

Enjoying your holidays in a caravan with your family is an already popular – and growing – phenomenon in Sweden, with tourists spending more than 15 million nights at camp sites every year.

The new figures follow a report by Tillväxtverket (the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth) earlier this week, which revealed that global visitors are spending more cash in the Nordic nation.

Tillväxtverket's figures suggested that foreign holidaymakers and business travellers spent an extra 10.2 billion ($12.4 million) kronor in 2014 compared to the previous year – an increase of 12.5 percent.

And according to SCR Swedish Camping, more than half (52 percent) of visitors from Sweden's most important markets – Norway, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands – choose to stay at a camp sites during June-August.

“I think that Sweden is the optimal country for campers. The camp sites are often located in beautiful areas. And I guess there's something about wanting to experience the Swedish summer that attracts people,” said Juhos.

The Swedish summer has of course been conspicuously absent so far, with the country experiencing its wettest month of May in decades. But forecasters have promised that higher temperatures are just around the corner.

“Just you wait and see!” laughed Juhos.

READ MORE: The Local's ultimate guide to travel in Sweden

Tourism is now one of Sweden's most important export industries and makes more money for the country than traditional sectors such as iron and steel.
 
According to Tillväxtverket, the value of the industry has increased by 137.5 percent since 2000, while the total growth in the value of Swedish exports was 66 percent over the same period.
 
Sweden is welcoming rising numbers of visitors from the UK and the US in particular this summer because the weak krona means that it is the cheapest time in years for travellers from these countries to visit Sweden.
 
But the Nordic nation recently tumbled in recent international tourism rankings. Transport links, prices and the quality of Sweden's hotels were called into question in a global report by the World Economic Forum (WEF), which listed the Nordic nation as 23rd in the world for travel and tourism compared to 5th place in 2011.
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