Photo:Anders Wiklund/TT
Stockholm's old town is a magnet for foreign tourists.Photo:Anders Wiklund/TT

Indian tourists flock to Sweden

"After the leaning tower of Pisa and Big Ben, Scandinavia and Sweden are very attractive"
2:29 min

A record number of tourists visited Sweden in 2014, with attractions such as Stockholm's Vasa Museum drawing people for far-flung places like China and India.

The number of foreign visitors increased by 7.4 percent last year, and long-distance travellers made up nearly a fifth of the total number of tourists.

A growing middle-class in countries like China and India means more people there are able to travel. According to fresh figures from the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, the number of overnight stays by Indian visitors increased by 24.6 percent in 2014 compared to the previous year. The number of Chinese overnight visitors increased by eight percent.

"Once they've visited the most iconic sites in the West, like the leaning tower of Pisa and Big Ben, Scandinavia and Sweden are very attractive," Peter Terpstra, a tourism analyst at the Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, told Radio Sweden.

"We want to learn more and see more of this other side of the world, so we came to the West and to Sweden," Chinese student Ziaiao Lin told Swedish Radio News while on a visit to Stockholm. 

Sweden's cities saw the biggest boost in tourists and even if Sweden has not traditionally been regarded as a tourist magnet, tourism is important for the Swedish economy.

"Today, revenue from tourism represents three percent of Sweden's GDP. It also accounts for about 173,000 jobs. If we look at the export value, i.e. what foreign visitors leave behind in the form of foreign currency, that value is significantly higher than traditional basic industries in Sweden," Terpstra said.

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