In a press conference On Monday, Sweden’s Minister of Trade and Industry Ibrahim Baylan outlined the new strategy, which aims to make Sweden ‘the world’s most sustainable and attractive tourist destination based on innovation’ in 2030.
Baylan referred to Sweden as a country that is “usually ranked as one of the world’s most innovative countries”, which he believed could “create value for the tourism industry”.
According to Baylan, the strategy is based on “the three dimensions of sustainability – it must be environmentally, socially and economically sustainable”. The strategy will also “link to the UN’s goals for sustainable development by 2030,” he said.
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Topics covered by the new tourism strategy include the climate impact of tourism, equality and inclusion in the tourism industry and the importance of conserving shared resources such as national parks and sustainable nature tourism such as fishing and hunting.
The press release highlights the importance of natural tourism and explains that the pandemic has led to people visiting natural and cultural environments “to a greater extent than before”, which increases wear and tear on natural areas.
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Tourism is an important industry for Sweden, which provides employment in both urban and rural areas, and generates wealth – before the coronavirus pandemic, the tourism industry represented an average of 2.7 percent of Sweden’s GDP per year. The tourism industry also employs a large number of people from foreign backgrounds – which makes up over a third (34 percent) of all employees in the industry.
During the pandemic, overnight stays decreased in almost every Swedish municipality, with the largest declines in Sweden’s larger cities and border communists.
The government’s plans also include a focus on jobs and skills development, so that workers have the right qualifications for the industry – this reflects issues that the restaurant and hotel industry is currently facing when it comes to finding skilled workers in the wake of the pandemic.
There are currently no details on how the government will achieve this strategy, or how it will measure success. But Sweden aims high if it wants to be the world’s most attractive tourist destination in 2030. In 2019, it was ranked as the 54th top tourist destination in the world by the UN’s world tourism organization.