The number of international tourists visiting Sweden has increased in the recent years.

sweden-skydanceAccording to a new report by Timetric, this positive trend is set to continue to 2017, bolstered by the attraction of Sweden’s unique natural phenomena.

According to the report, inbound tourist arrivals rose from 8.9 million in 2008 to 10.9 million in 2012, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.22%. This trend is expected to continue between 2013 and 2017, thanks in part to the active promotion of the country’s scenic beauty and natural phenomena by the Swedish tourism board.

According to the report, tourism in Sweden is primarily nature-based. Key tourist attractions include the northern lights (or the aurora borealis), ice hotels and the country’s 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Ice Hotel at Jukkasjärvi, for example, attracts more than 50,000 tourists every year.

From 2013 to 2017, inbound tourist arrivals are expected to increase at a CAGR of 4.85%, with inbound tourist expenditure expected to reach SEK159.4 billion (US$23.4 billion) by 2017. The report also finds that domestic tourism is expected to increase from 38.6 million trips in 2012 to 48.9 million in 2017, driven by efforts by the tourism board to promote Sweden’s natural attractions and adventure tours.

The Timetric report recommends that to attract more visitors, travel agents and tour operators highlight the unique natural phenomena which can be experienced in Sweden. Tour operators like Authentic Scandinavia are quickly catching on to the trend, offering a variety of specialised tours such as the Northern Lights Adventure Tour and the Swedish Lapland Winter Experience.

The Timetric report; ‘Travel and Tourism in Sweden to 2017’ was published on the 19th July 2013.