Vigorous growth in Swedish Lapland tourism
Tourism is a young industry enjoying vigorous growth. Even though sales do not reach the levels of Norrbotten´s basic industries, it is an extremely important growth factor in the region. During 2009 tourism in Norrbotten accounted for SEK 3 billion, an increase of 50 per cent in six years; it generated SEK 444 million in socio-economic effects to municipalities and the county council.
The advantage of being able to sell unique adventures in Europe´s last wilderness means that the region has a strong attraction in the world at large. Despite the global recession the number of tourists from other countries rose by 18 per cent during 2009. The same statistic for the rest of the country was 3.4 per cent.
Tourism provides an occupation for around 2500 full time employees on an annual basis, and in 2009 no fewer than 2.3 million overnight stays were registered, of which one quarter were foreign guests. Only Stockholm, Gothenburg and Värmland had higher propotions of foreign visitors.
Swedish Lapland Tourism is a regional organization for joint tourism and it collaborates with Visit Sweden and other Swedish tourist destinations. Swedsih Lapland´s CEO, Jan-Erik Jaensson, predicts continued strong growth for the county´s tourist companies and investors in tourism.
“At Swedish Lapland we forecast investments totalling around SEK 2 billion in Norrbotten´s tourism over the next two years. But if we consider actual investment needs and the existing busness potential, the sum is significant higher.”
“The major need is for investment in accomodations for an ever increasing flow of visitors. Then there are areas that are almost unexploited, such as the archipelago from Skellefteå to Haparanda where there are very few facilities but great demand. To raise archipelago tourism to the level it deserves will require investments of around SEK 10 billion,” says Jan-Erik Jaensson.