Sweden is becoming a more popular travel destination than ever before, with tourist figures rising from 8.9 million in 2008 to 10.9 million in 2012, according to a new report quoted in the Swedish media The Local.
Online data provider Timetric stated that tourist numbers will likely rise again in the next four years.
“Despite the global economic slowdown, the travel and tourism sector in Sweden expanded during the review period,” Timetric was quoted.
“Tourism has a significant role to play in the Swedish economy with a contribution of 10.8% to the total gross domestic product (GDP) in 2012.”
The detailed analysis suggests that tourists coming to Sweden are particularly attracted to nature. Among the most visited attractions were the northern lights and the country’s 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Another hit with tourists was the Ice Hotel in Jukkasjarvi in far northern Sweden which has more than 50,000 visitors per year.
The report added that inbound tourist expenditure will reach 159.4 billion kronor ($23.4 billion) by 2017. Domestic tourism is anticipated to increase from 38.6 million trips in 2012 to 48.9 million in 2017.
“The travel and tourism sector in Sweden performed well during the review period, despite a slowdown in 2009 due to the global financial crisis,” the report added.
“The relatively stable state of both the country’s economy and within key source markets, promotional activities by the tourism authority and the hosting of international events supported this growth.”
The article did not provide information which countries the tourists where coming from.