Now ABBA, one of the greatest pop bands of all times, can also be described as tourism – the phenomenon ABBA tourism. This is the result of the mapping of visitors of the new ABBA museum in Stockholm by the Tourism research institute ETOUR at Mid Sweden University. The average visitor spends around 2 000 SEK per day and the duration of his or her stay in Stockholm is three days.
- ABBA tourism shows how important pop culture fans are for tourism in general and for destinations in specific. Destinations become interesting for new groups of visitors because of their connection to a popular culture phenomenon, says Christine Lundberg, researcher at ETOUR.
Since the museum opened its gates in May 2013, it has had about a quarter of a million of visitors, half of them from other countries. Many ABBA fans have been fans for a long time, actually since they were young – almost seven out of ten were 12 years or younger when they became ABBA fans and according to the survey, they have been fans since the 1970s.
- ABBA has got many faithful fans and this is a strong reason for them to travel. Earlier research shows that almost eight out of ten say that they wouldn’t have travelled to the specific destination they visited on their last ABBA journey if it hadn’t been for their interest in the band, says Maria Lexhagen, researcher at ETOUR.
A massive five out of ten ABBA fans in the survey have visited Sweden because of ABBA. Eight out of ten say that ABBA was the main reason to travel on their last ABBA-related journey. In the case of the visitors of the ABBA museum, this number was nine out of ten.
75 per cent of the visitors of ABBA The Museum also paid visits to other attractions in Stockholm, such as other museums, like the Vasa museum and Fotografiska, Skansen, the Old Town, but also ABBA-related experiences, like places, concerts and musicals.
- This shows that the ”ABBA tourists” are tourists who can be seen as cultural tourists and who willingly take part in other ABBA-related experiences during their visit, says Christine Lundberg.
Well over eight out of ten visitors plan on coming back to visit ABBA The Museum and the majority of these say that they will do so within a couple of years. A total of 96 per cent have recommended or will recommend ABBA The Museum to others, which indicates that they are satisfied with their visit. Almost nine out of ten of all ABBA fans in the international survey say that they are likely to visit Stockholm in the future.
- ABBA The Museum takes a great interest in ETOUR’s research on ABBA tourism, which keeps growing in the entire world, due to different Mamma Mia! musicals and of course ABBA The Museum in Djurgården, Stockholm. It is great to see the way the pop culture finally takes its just place as a part of our important history, says Mattias Hansson, managing director, ABBA The Museum.
At the museum, the visitor can experience the band’s fantastic career from the forming of ABBA in the end of the 1960s, the breakthrough with Waterloo, the big world tours and all the way to the pause in 1982. The visitor can sing in the Polar studio, virtually try on the stage costumes and see what it feels like to go on stage with the band in a hologram-like scene solution.
ABBA The Museum has been nominated the best Swedish experience in the category Trip Global Award. The prize will be awarded at the Swedish Tourism Gala on 4 December in Stockholm, where ETOUR will take part.
AT ETOUR, there is a research project called PopCultour, which focuses on knowledge about the way media, like film, TV and literature motivate people to travel. Pop culture tourism can be seen as a system of services, where the tourism trade and other creative trades like film, TV and publishing houses create value for tourists.
See three short presentations of PopCultour here.
Facts ABBA The Museum
ABBA The Museum opened its gates to the public on 7 May, 2013 and is located at Djurgården in Stockholm, Sweden. ABBA is the most successful Swedish music act with more than 378 million records sold around the world. ABBA The Museum presents a full picture of the group’s history until the pause in 1982. Since then, ABBA has lived on through Björn’s and Benny’s ongoing musical activities, both in their own names and through the musical Mamma Mia!, which again caused a major interest in ABBA’s music. The interest keeps growing and in 2013, ABBA GOLD was found to be the best selling CD of all times in the UK.
The visit at ABBA The Museum begins with a film by Jonas Åkerlund showed in a 180 degree cinema. The visitor then continues to Gamleby Folkets Park, symbolizing the beginning of the band members’ careers in the 60s. The exhibition moves on via Brighton 1974, the writer’s nest at Viggsö, Stikkan’s office, Owe Sandström’s sewing room, arenas around the world, Björn’s and Agnetha’s kitchen and the legendary Polar studio. An interesting fact is also that the visitor takes the tour together with Björn, Agnetha, Frida and Benny, who star in the audio guide of the museum and tell the visitors about their time with ABBA.