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How important is the tourism industry for northern Sweden?

Published: 31 October 2016

Since year 2000, the number of employed in the tourism and hospitality industry in Norrbotten and northern Västerbotten has increased by 90 percent. Luleå University of Technology’s researchers Daniel Örtqvist and Thomas Ejdemo are now going to evaluate the industry's importance for the region's growth.

Northern Sweden's economy has long been dependent on exports from strong basic industries such as mining and forestry.

The regional development strategy for Norrbotten for year 2020 emphasizes the need for a broadened labor market and a diversified economy

– The tourism industry is pointed out as an important complement to other strong industries in the region. A diversified labor market makes the effects of economic fluctuations less noticeable, says Daniel Örtqvist, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Luleå University of Technology.
He is, together with research engineer Thomas Ejdemo, going to write a report about the tourism and hospitaly industry's role in Norrbotten’s economical growth 2007-2015.

Evalutate project support

The report, which will be published in the fall of 2017, is a part of the project "Regional Renewal", funded by the County Administrative Board of Norrbotten and Luleå University of Technology.

Between 2007 and 2015, companies in the tourism and hospitality industri in the region were paid 232 million SEK in project support. Daniel Örtqvist and Thomas Ejdemo are going to evaluate what effect these public investments have had for the businesses, but also for municipalities.

 The two researchers will summarize existing analyzes and studies, but also interview representatives from the tourism and hospitality industry in the region.
The report is intended to be used as a resource for future priorities and strategic investments in the tourism industry in Norrbotten.
– We want to give a picture of both opportunities and challenges. We will, among other things, try to find out how the industry is experiencing different types of financial support. Anyone who wants to share their experience is welcome to contact us!, says Thomas Ejdemo.

Large growth

Figures from the regional tourism organization Swedish Lapland Visitors Board, which has 16 municipalities in Norrbotten and northern Västerbotten as members, shows that the tourism and hospitality industry has grown substantially in recent decades.
Last year, the turnover of the tourism industry in the Swedish Lapland area was 6.1 billion SEK, which is 150 percent more than in 2000.
During the same period, the number of employed in the sector has increased by 90 percent.

– We welcome more analyses and research about the tourism and hospitality industry. This is one of our new basic industries and we need adequate research to know which efforts that are relevant to deploy forward. The industry has an enormous growth potential that we must take advantage of, says Erica Mattson, CEO of Swedish Lapland Visitors Board.