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Sweden, Denmark plunge in global tourism rankings

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Nordic destinations suffer from poor price competitiveness
The Nordic countries are losing out to competitors around the world as tourist destinations, according to the latest biennial list compiled by the World Economic Forum.
Sweden has fallen dramatically from 5th place in 2011 and 9th in 2013 to 23rd in 2015, while Denmark finds itself in 27th place this year, down from 16th in 2011. Iceland did best in the Nordic region, ranking 18th, Norway at 20th, Finland at 22nd. But Finland is top in the world for safety and security for tourists, with Nigeria the least secure.
Spain heads the index for the first time, boosted by cultural resources, growing infrastructure and adaptation to digital consumption habits. Also in the top 10 out of 141 countries are France, Germany, the USA, the UK, Switzerland, Australia, Italy, Japan and Canada. The destinations were assessed in 14 separate areas.
Sweden is suffering from the quality of its hotels and conference facilities, high prices, “international openness” and comparatively poor transport links, the World Economic Forum explained. Its strengths include a global reputation as a hub for start-ups, being home to well-known brands.
Denmark also has a quality challenge due to its high prices as tourists’ expectations are so much higher. Where the product is good, as at Legoland, the prices are fine, but there are other cases where visitors expect more. It ranks 135th out of the 141 countries in price competitiveness and 91st for the prioritization of travel and tourism.
The Local
[pictured: Old Town, Stockholm; photo by Ola Ericson/imagebank.sweden.se]

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