The tourism and hospitality industry in the Swedish Lapland area (Norrbotten and northern Västerbotten) has almost doubled its turnover between 2007 and 2015; from SEK 3.3 billion to SEK 6.1 billion per year.
– The whole industry has changed – matured – towards an increased specialization. Business owners were often often multitaskers who did everything from arranging overnight stays to transport and cooking. Today, there is a more defined network economy, where different actors specialize on what they do best, says Daniel Örtqvist, Professor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Luleå University of Technology.
He points out that tourists traveling to the region today often come more far away than they did ten years ago.
– There is a clear benefit from Swedish Lapland Visitors Board's marketing efforts on external markets, and it has become clearer that primary focus is on so-called high-end customers. The Icehotel has been leading in opening for international, wellsituated tourists.
Strengthen the analysis
The new report "How is the tourism industry in Norrbotten doing" is part of the Regional Renewal project, run by the County Administrative Board in Norrbotten, the County council of Norrbotten and Luleå University of Technology. The overall aim of the project is to strengthen regional analysis in different areas.
Between 2007 and 2015, SEK 232 million was paid in project support to companies in the tourism and hospitality industry in the region. Daniel Örtqvist and Thomas Ejdemo have evaluated the impact these public investments have had. In the report they write:
"The public investments made over the period have led to new and increased investments and to the creation of new tourism companies. (...) Public initiatives have also contributed to the development of tourism infrastructure and created the conditions for new tourists to visit more of the county's visiting companies. Similarly, public investment in tourism has also led to regional social development through contributions to, inter alia, infrastructure, creation of workplaces across the region, with a specific contribution to employment-intensive employment with equal employment, where important contributions have also come to inland municipalities. Several municipalities have mentioned the importance of the visiting industry as a nutrition that creates employment and markets the municipality. "
Believe in strong growth
Two thirds of entrepreneurs in the tourism industry in Norrbotten and northern Västerbotten believe in strong growth in the coming years. However, there are challenges to handle to make this happen.
The entrepreneurs interviewed in the study highlight, among other things, the possibilities to find new employees, from chefs to marketing specialists. The entrepreneurs also emphasize the need for a joint representative of the industry that can gather and support the industry's development and growth, as well as expanded infrastructure and good service. "Developing the visiting industry is therefore largely an important local and regional policy issue," states Daniel Örtqvist and Thomas Ejdemo in the report.
– There is a need for a good community service with functioning schools, healthcare and infrastructure so that entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry can live and work in places in the region, says Daniel Örtqvist.
– The tourism industry is affected by society in general. It is, in many ways, our society and our way of living that is being marketed.