Swedish hotels cash in on business travellers

Swedish hotels cash in on business travellers
Visitors are flocking to Malmö. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Business travellers have been flocking to city hotels in Malmö, Gothenburg and Stockholm this summer.

Revenue per available room rose by 13 percent in Malmö, six percent in Gothenburg and four percent in Stockholm on the same period last year, according to preliminary figures put together by tourism industry organization Visita.

Malmö hotels also saw their occupancy rate increase to around 80 percent, bringing the growing southern Swedish city to the same level as Stockholm and Gothenburg.

“It's great and a sign that Malmö is prospering. And one reason is that Malmö has a large and wide range of meeting, event and hotel facilities,” council tourism boss Ann Nyström told Swedish radio's news programme Ekot on Tuesday.

The increase in Sweden's three biggest cities is largely thanks to a rising number of businesspeople travelling to and within the country, which has enjoyed a business boom in the past few years on the back of growing global companies and successful startups.

“It means that you can charge slightly higher prices per hotel room and that's important for profitability,” Visita CEO Eva Östling told Ekot.

She said another reason the cities have seen more visitors could be that the availability in other areas of Sweden has decreased because of some hotels being turned into asylum accommodation.

“In the countryside that is probably a reason, that fewer rooms are available. But in the big cities you don't have that phenomenon,” said Östling.

As The Local reported earlier in August, the southern Skåne region enjoyed a 7.3 increase in tourists and 10.6 in international visitors in the first six months of 2016, with an all-time high in British tourists.

Sara Brynskog, a spokesperson for Tourism in Skåne, told The Local at the time: “The increase is probably due to a number of reasons… from our perspective, we know that there is an overall interest in Swedish culture and lifestyle. The Nordic food scene, nature in Skåne and also Nordic Noir, with The Bridge series and Wallander, have drawn a lot of attention.”