Service providers in the Swedish nature-based tourism sector have an annual turnover of SEK 3,6 billion. This is the result of the first national inventory of companies that live off nature-based tourism partly or entirely. Every third company says they are in a phase of growth.
- Guided outdoor activities and accommodation are considered to be the most important business activities, while fishing, kayaking and canoeing/river rafting are the most important outdoor activities offered, says Peter Fredman, Professor at the tourism research institute ETOUR at Mid Sweden University, who conducted the inventory together with doctoral student Lusine Margaryan.
To a great extent, nature-based tourism in Sweden is about different types of activities connected to water, and it is also focused on the summer months. 60-80 per cent of all companies consider the summer months, June to September, to be the most important season.
- The results indicate that it is plausible that the trade of nature-based tourism will grow. 37 per cent of the companies say that their business is growing and only 8 per cent see a decline, says Peter Fredman.
The inventory shows a diversified business sector where many activities are combined. It identifies around 1 800 companies, which is estimated to be around two thirds of all nature-based tourism companies in Sweden. The average annual turnover is almost SEK 2 million, which means that the nature-based tourism trade has an annual turnover of at least SEK 3.6 billion. The Swedish counties with the highest number of nature-based tourism companies are Västra Götaland, Norrbotten, Jämtland and Östergötland. The most important foreign markets are Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway.
- Nature-based tourism is a force to be reckoned with. It is, however, strongly tied to the right conditions; a majority of all companies are for instance dependent on the access to land owned by somebody else, and the possibility to move freely in nature is very important for three out of four companies, says Peter Fredman.
The inventory in the form of a survey was conducted and sent to a total of 1821 businesses, out of which 648 sent in valid answers. The survey comprised issues like seasonality, geographic expansion, effects from other use of land and water, the importance of national parks, flora and fauna, infrastructure, availability, environmental responsibility, sales and costs etc.
The results were presented at a seminar at Mid Sweden University in Östersund in March 2014 and you can download the entire report ”The supply of nature-based tourism in Sweden. A national inventory of service providers” here.Listen