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Sweden attracted more foreign tourism than any other Nordic country in 2016

Staff Writer | January 26, 2017
More foreign tourists chose to spend a night in Sweden than any other Nordic country last year, with tourism up compared to 2015.
Tourism   The number of foreign overnight stays in Sweden grew
But with the growth rate slipping behind all but one of the other Nordic nations, there is a risk that rivals could catch up on the Swedes in the near future.

"Work on getting foreign tourism to grow more is important and a priority," Visit Sweden’s acting CEO Kristina Ösund told news agency TT.

The number of foreign overnight stays in Sweden last year grew to 13.9 million, according to EU statistical office Eurostat – an increase of 3.1 percent on 2015. Denmark came second with 11.6 million, Norway third with 9.8 million, Iceland fourth with 6.8 million, and Finland last with 5.6 million.

The figures, based on a statistical forecast, show some clear trends.

One is that despite the growth, Sweden is at risk of slipping behind the likes of Denmark, Norway, and Iceland. Among the Nordics, the island nation saw by far the biggest percentage growth in tourism, with an 18.5 percent increase in overnight stays.

Norway meanwhile also saw large growth, up by 11.4 percent compared to 2015.

Visit Sweden head Ösund emphasized that Sweden is still the most popular destination for foreigners in the Nordics however.

“In absolute terms we’re ahead of the other countries in the Nordics. If the interest in Nordic countries and Scandinavia grows, all countries will share in that,” she said.