Sweden keeps lead in overnight stays

But rate is lower than for other Nordic countries
More foreign tourists opted for Sweden last year than any other Nordic country, as inbound tourism continues to rise. But the growth rate is slipping behind the other Nordic nations.
“Work on getting foreign tourism to grow more is important and a priority,” Visit Sweden’s acting chief executive Kristina Ösund told the news agency TT.
The number of foreign overnight stays in Sweden grew to 13.9 million in 2016, says EU stats office Eurostat, up 3.1% year-on-year. Denmark is second with 11.6 million, Norway third with 9.8 million, Iceland next with 6.8 million, then Finland with 5.6 million.
One clear trend is that despite its high numbers Sweden is at risk of slipping behind its competitors. Unsurprisingly, Iceland saw by far the highest growth in inbound tourism in 2016, at 18.5%, and Norway saw 11.4% growth compared to 2015.
“In absolute terms we’re ahead of the other countries in the Nordics. But if the interest in Nordic countries and Scandinavia grows, all countries will share in that,” Ösund said.
However, Jens Heed, head of research at the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, thinks there is cause for concern: “If the figure is correct, it’s lower than we would have expected.”
Sweden also has a larger share of domestic overnights compared to the other Nordic nations.
TT / The Local