Switzerland Tourism is covering the Nordic market and its countries Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland from its office in Stockholm. Hereafter you find the most important market information.

Directory

  1. Know the basics
  2. Bi-monthly market update
  3. Localized annual plan 2024

Know the basics

AddressSwitzerland Tourism
c/o Embassy of Switzerland, Box 26143, S-100 41 Stockholm, Sweden
Visitors address: Gyllenstiernsgatan 8
Market ManagerMatthias Albrecht
Contact+46 (0)70 255 44 14
matthias.albrecht@switzerland.com
LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/matthias-albrecht

Meet the Team

Research and reports

Market activities

Last updated: mm/dd/yy by initials

Market update and reporting of finalized activities 2023

Click here for an overview slide for each finalized activity in the current year. ((Will upload a PDF))

Localized annual plan 2024

Last updated: 31/01/24 by MA

Market Situation

The Nordic countries, encompassing Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Finland, have long been exemplars of political stability and economic prowess. However, the year 2023 posed formidable challenges, marked by economic and political turbulence, with each Nordic nation experiencing varying degrees of economic resilience.

Across the board, elevated inflation rates and substantial currency depreciation against the franc and dollar have adversely impacted consumers in the Nordic countries. This has resulted in a deferment of expensive consumer expenditures, including holiday plans. Sweden, as the largest and influential Nordic nation, is poised to undergo a modest recession by the close of 2023.

Presently, there are positive signs as inflation is subsiding across all Nordic countries, and the substantial exchange rate losses seem to be abating. According to projections from Oxford Economics, a return to slight economic growth is anticipated for all Nordic countries in 2024.

On the political front, the Nordic nations are significantly influenced by the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine. This conflict has spurred a collective desire among governments and citizens to align with NATO. Notably, Finland has already taken steps to join NATO in 2023, while Sweden’s entry faces delays, largely attributed to complications involving Turkey and Hungary.

The ramifications of the Ukraine conflict extend to increased defense budgets across the Nordic countries. This, however, puts additional strain on their currencies, potentially diverting resources from other sectors. The delicate balance between economic stability and geopolitical considerations continues to shape the trajectory of the Nordic countries in the coming years.

Economy

The economic landscape of 2023 was marked by widespread high inflation and a weakened currency, yet the Nordic countries navigated these challenges with distinct trajectories.

Sweden: Preceding and during the COVID-19 pandemic, real estate in Sweden witnessed a significant surge in value. However, as interest rates rose, the real estate market encountered setbacks. The central bank faced limitations in implementing the necessary robust interest rate hikes to bolster the currency. Consequently, the Swedish krona depreciated more than the currencies in Denmark or the euro in Finland. Nonetheless, this currency depreciation has moderated throughout 2023. Projections anticipate a return to stability in the currency and a modest economic growth of 0.5%.

Denmark: Denmark stood out as an economic performer within the Nordic region, largely attributable to the success of the Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, particularly its blockbuster drug Wegovy. The company single-handedly contributed to a 0.6% increase in Danish GDP in 2023. This positive momentum extended to other sectors of the Danish economy, including energy, banking, and transport. Growth forecasts for 2024 indicate a more robust performance compared to other Nordic countries, with an average growth rate of 1.6%.

Norway: Similar to Sweden, Norway grappled with a weakened currency, but buoyant oil revenues shielded it from falling into recession. The growth rate for 2023 hovers around 1.2%, with forecasts predicting a growth of 0.8% in 2024.

Finland: In 2023, Finland enjoyed a degree of stability in the euro compared to the currencies of its Nordic counterparts. However, the Finnish economy faced challenges due to reduced trade and border closures with Russia. Despite these hurdles, a growth of 0.9% is anticipated in 2024, underscoring the resilience of the Finnish economy.

Travel industry

The Nordic outgoing travel industry has traditionally thrived, with residents of Nordic countries demonstrating a strong penchant for international travel. Their travel preferences encompass a diverse array of destinations, spanning European cities to more distant places. Notably, individual bookings are prevalent, particularly for trips to Switzerland. Major tour operators predominantly concentrate on Sun & Beach destinations, catering to the demand for classic beach packages in sought-after locations like Thailand and Spain, where enticing packages can be offered at reasonable prices. During the winter season, the focus shifts to packages for Austria, with Danish, English, and Dutch tour operators playing significant roles.

Trips to Switzerland, on the other hand, are often booked through smaller boutique tour operators or arranged individually. The high level of digitalization in the Nordic region empowers consumers to effortlessly navigate the world’s booking platforms, making independent travel planning a common practice.

An exception to this trend is observed in the numerous Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) groups during the winter season. Many companies organize annual ski weekends for their employees, typically spanning from Thursday to Sunday. While weekdays remain dedicated to work, the weekends are devoted to leisure activities, reflecting a blend of corporate engagement and recreational pursuits in the Nordic travel landscape.

Travel behavior

The Nordic consumer stands out for their high level of independence and pronounced individuality when it comes to travel behavior. Winter holidays, in particular, are often booked spontaneously and directly online, influenced by prevailing weather and snow conditions. Noteworthy exceptions include high-end customers, corporate MICE weekends, and family holidays, especially those involving coastal or mountain destinations in both summer and winter, where considerations of availability hold significant weight. These specialized packages are frequently secured through tour operators, with online platforms and travel agencies (albeit to a lesser extent) serving as popular booking channels.

Sustainability is a key expectation for the Nordic consumer, though not necessarily a primary reason for travel. Rather, its absence could act as a deterrent. Despite previous discussions around „flight shame“ following the Greta protests, air travel remains prevalent. This is partly due to the vast distances involved and the cost-effectiveness of flights compared to other European destinations. In southern Sweden and Denmark, alternatives such as cars and trains are viable options. However, the appeal of train travel faces challenges, notably capacity issues in Denmark and delays in Germany.

Nordic consumers actively engage with digital content, drawing inspiration from a variety of sources. Whether through well-known daily newspaper portals, individual blogs, or diverse social media platforms associated with newspapers, digital channels play a pivotal role in shaping their travel preferences and decisions.

Personas

The Nordic market focuses primarily on the personas Joe-Thor, Kris-Ebba and new Quinn-Björn. Find more information about the personas here.  

Key Performance Indicators

Final 2023Budget 2024
Bed nights hotelsnot available yet
Turnover Total (CHF)not available yet
Growth 2023 – 2024
Campaigning & Activation*
·      Top-Marketing Contacts73’964’27650’000’000
·      Qualified reactions55’86650’000
·      Tracked Sessions on MyS.com per year348’907350’000
·      Engagement Rate on MyS.com49.4%50.0%
·      Engagement Rate on Social Media0.44%0.44%
Media work (KMM)*
·      Top-Coverage articles5560
·      Top-Coverage media contacts21’282’28020’000’000
·      Qualified Interactions with KMM107100
Trade (KAM)*
·      Influenced overnight with tour operators 2832430000
·      Influenced revenue with tour operators 5’664’8006’000’000
·      Specific group and FIT packages301n/a
·      Qualified Interactions with KAM315300
·      Meetings: RFP’s 3350
·      Influenced revenue business events216’450832’000
·      Qualified Interactions with business accounts289400