Sweden

Sweden

The International Passenger Survey (IPS) was suspended on 16 March 2020 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic until the start of 2021. The ONS have made every effort to produce high-quality estimates for the periods when IPS data is not being collected but have not been able to produce a full set of results therefore no data from 2020 is available on the interactive chart below. Interviewing initially began at UK airports at the start of 2021, though the IPS remained suspended at some sea ports and train stations during the year. Data for 2021 and 2022 is also excluded below as there were no interviews at Eurotunnel until July 2022 and data from Dover was only collected from Q3 2021.

Read more about 2020 inbound data2021 inbound data, 2022 quarterly data as well as the latest monthly data for 2022.

Visitor characteristics

  • Almost two-in-five of Swedish visitors are under 35 years of age
  • Nearly four-in-five holiday visitors are making a repeat trip to Britain (excluding British nationals)
  • A significant proportion of visitors live in or around Stockholm
  • 97% of departing visitors say they are ‘likely’ or ‘extremely likely’ to recommend Britain for a holiday

Popular activities

Dining in a restaurant

Visited a Pub

Went Shopping

Global context

Measure2019
International tourism expenditure (US$bn)14.4
Global rank for international tourism expenditure25
Number of outbound visits (m)14.4
Most visited destinationSpain

Key demographic and economic data

Measure2022
Population (m)10.5
GDP per capita PPP (US$)63,531
Annual average GDP growth over past decade (%)2.2
Annual GDP growth (%)2.9

Inbound visits to Britain from Sweden

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Number of visits

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Total expenditure (GBP)

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Total nights spent

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Average length of stay (Nights)

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Average spend per visit (GBP)

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What Swedes think about Britain

  • Swedes are more upbeat than average in their opinion of how welcoming the UK is and rank the UK third out of sixty nations overall, as well as first for 'vibrant city life', 'contemporary culture' and 'culture in general'
  • The cultural product Swedes most strongly associate with the UK is music, followed by filmssports, museums, and pop videos in 2022
  • When thinking about holiday destinations Swedes see a chance to have ‘fun and laughter’ and ‘enjoy the beauty of the landscape’ as important. They perceive the US, Australia and Italy as the ‘best places’ for it. 
  • Swedes are more likely to nominate Britain as the best place to ‘meet the locals’ then they are other leading destinations
  • Activities that appeal to potential Swedish visitors include 'visiting Madame Tussauds', 'enjoying a traditional afternoon tea', 'driving through the countryside in England', 'taking a canal boat tour through the waterways of England', and 'going on a food tour of one of London's best foodie markets'

Caring for visitors

  • Swedes expect good-value accommodation and will use budget acommodation - they will expect en-suite facilities and wooden/tiled floors
  • Swedes will take more notice of environmental credentials than visitors from many other markets
  • Visitors from Sweden are more likely than the average visitor to use a credit card to pay for goods and services in Britain

The leisure & travel trade

  • The Swedish trade can be roughly split into four categories of charter operators, business travel/MICE, online operators and retail travel agents with many companies offering a mix of the four services
  • The key centres for travel trade are Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo
  • There is no distinct planning cycle so it is possible to do business in Sweden throughout the year

Access to Britain from Sweden

Measure2022
Weekly aircraft departures126
Weekly seat capacity21,722
Airports with direct routes in Sweden6
Airports with direct routes in Britain8
  • The majority of visits to Britain from Sweden are made by air
  • The bulk of seat capacity serves the Stockholm to London corridor
  • Four airlines operate virtually all capacity between Sweden and Britain
  • Copenhagen in Denmark is also a popular gateway to the UK from the South of Sweden
  • Following the severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, scheduled seat capacity in 2022 from Sweden to the UK recovered to 67% of 2019 levels
  • Visitors departing Britain to travel home to Sweden by air are charged £13 in Air Passenger Duty if travelling in economy class
    (2022 data, excludes flights from Salen)