🇸🇪 Encouraging record figures for Boden’s visitor industry

March 8, 2023

Press release from Bodenxt

Arctic Bath

After two pandemic-hit years, Boden’s hospitality industry set new records in the number of guest nights. Preliminary statistics from SCB show an increase in the number of guest nights in Boden of 77 percent from 2021 and 3 percent from the previous record year of 2019.

The visitor industry in both Boden and the county sets new records! In 2022, the number of guest nights increased in all municipalities in Norrbotten. Compared to the pandemic year of 2021, visitor numbers in the county increased by an average of +33 percent in the past year.
“The recovery is really unprecedented. It shows that our industry has a good ability to adapt when the world changes, even in the most dramatic ways,” says Annika Fredriksson, CEO of the Swedish Lapland Visitors Board.

Annika Fredriksson, CEO of the Swedish Lapland Visitors Board, sees the recovery of the tourism industry after the pandemic as outstanding and highlights Boden as a destination that stands out with high international maturity. Photo: Mats Engfors, Fotograpic

For Boden, the figures have risen more than twice as much as the regional average, 77 percent!

“It is extremely gratifying to read the statistics for guest nights in Boden and to be able to state that in 2022 we have surpassed the good figures of 2019. Together, we have weathered the pandemic and are once again strong on the destination map. Inquiries to our tourism companies continue to increase, so I foresee a steady upward trend,” says Anki Granström, Chairman of the Board of Boden Turism Economic Association.

The breakdown between international and national guests was 66 per cent Swedish and foreign guests accounted for the remaining 34 per cent. Both private and business travel flows contributed to the strong performance.

The graph above shows the statistics for the whole of Swedish Lapland.

Common trends

  • The number of Norwegians increased by 525% compared to 2021, which can be attributed to the closure of the Norwegian border to outbound travellers during the pandemic.
  • Brexit is having an impact – UK travellers have not found their way back in the same numbers as in 2019, and have fallen by 23% since 2019.
  • Dutch visitor numbers have increased by 22% compared to 2019. The Netherlands is now the fifth largest foreign market, just behind the UK.

Trends in Boden

The tendencies that can be seen locally in Boden are that Norwegian visitors have very high numbers here as well, mainly in the central city. Boden has a long tradition of strong Norwegian representation in the summer at First Camp Björknäs. There was a big drop during the pandemic, but over the past year Norwegian guests have come back and increased by over 1300%. The number of Norwegian visitors is also higher in 2022 than in the previous year in Boden.

International high-end tourism

However, in Boden’s two river valleys with design hotels and lodges in small, exclusive high-end destinations, the guest networks are predominantly of other nationalities, as in the alpine resort of Storklinten. In terms of numbers, Germany, the US and the UK will have the most guest nights in the municipality of Boden in 2022, after Sweden and Norway, in that order. In Boden, the number of visitors from the UK has increased by 178% in the last year. The largest percentage increase in 2022, after Norway, will be in Asia and the Netherlands here in Boden.

“Boden not only stands out as an international destination in general. What we can see is that the English-speaking guests from the US and UK are more numerous here. Boden is a destination with high international maturity. For example, there are local DMCs (Destination Market Companies) and international travel companies that package and sell the Arctic lifestyle. The facilities here also create important value chains and networks for a basic industry that benefits a great many people,” says Annika Fredriksson.

The latest addition to the natural luxury segment that is attracting more and more international visitors to the municipality of Boden is Treehotel’s design room Biosphere, with a facade of bird houses. Photo: Mats Engfors, Fotographic

A steadily growing group in Boden is also expected to be the work-related visitors, in line with the social transformation and the large industrial developments. In Boden, special contractor housing is planned during the construction phase of the industries, to ease the pressure on housing for both permanent residents and visitors to the municipality. More hotels are also being opened and planned here.

“These figures give us a hint of an increased need for beds in the municipality of Boden. Let’s solve this challenge together and make sure that developers who want to build housing have the best conditions, with quick investigations, decisions and building permits. Increasing our reception capacity is a crucial factor in enabling Boden to grow to 33 000 inhabitants by 2030,” says Anki Granström.

At the last business breakfast in Boden, the opportunities and challenges of the hospitality industry were highlighted. Here is a dialogue with moderator Anders Sandle, Anki Granström, chairman of Boden Turism ekonomisk förening, Joel Stenvall, Western Farm, which has just opened a new hotel, and Felix Eriksson, Tallkvisten Properties, which is planning a major hotel development in Boden. Photo: KOMM/Bodenxt

Photo main image (Arctic Bath): Mats Engfors, Fotographic

Originally published on 7 March.

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