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ABBA tourism in Sweden fuelled thanks to museum

Press Release   •   Dec 03, 2013 11:58 GMT

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.

For further information, please contact:
Mid Sweden University - ETOUR

Christine Lundberg, +46-70-336 89 59, e-mail: christine.lundberg@miun.se

Maria Lexhagen, +46-70-606 58 39, e-mail: maria.lexhagen@miun.se

 
ABBA The Museum

Catarina Falkenhav, +46-73-934 35 05

Facts ETOUR

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.
PopCultour part 1
PopCultour part 2
PopCultour part 3

The survey was completed during August and October 2013 and between 213 and 1239 people answered, depending on the question.

About ABBA The Museum

ABBA The Museum opened to the public on 7th May this year, and is located on the picturesque Djurgården island, between the Liljevalchs museum and the Gröna Lund amusement park. ABBA is Sweden’s most successful band, with global sales of more than 378 million. ABBA The Museum presents a comprehensive view of the group, from their formation in the late ‘60s, their breakthrough with Waterloo in 1974, the major world tours, up until their split in 1982. Since then, ABBA have lived on through Björn and Benny’s continued musical collaboration, both outside the context of the group and through the Mamma Mia! musical, which created a revival for the group’s music. And the interest in ABBA is ever-growing: in 2013, it was announced that ABBA GOLD is the best-selling CD of all time in England.

The visit to the museum starts with a film by Jonas Åkerlund, which is shown in a 180 degree cinema room .The visitor will then continue to the Gamleby folkpark, which symbolises the start of the members’ careers in the ’60s. The exhibition continues through Brighton in 1974, the song writing cabin on the Viggsö island, Stig Anderson’s office, Owe Sandström’s tailor studio, concert arenas the world over, Björn and Agnetha’s kitchen, and the legendary Polar Music Studio. And the visitor is accompanied by Björn, Agnetha, Frida, and Benny, who tell the story of the ABBA years in the museum audio guide. The manuscript for the audio guide has been produced in collaboration with Catherine Johnson, who wrote the Mamma Mia! manuscript.

Since the opening the museum has had about a quarter of a million of visitors, the majority of whom are foreign tourists. Tickets are available at abbathemuseum.com and at ABBA The Museum’s ticket partner SJ, sj.se.


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