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A holiday abroad increasingly important to Swedes

Press release   •   Jan 14, 2014 11:08 CET

Swedes make decisions about our trips several months before heading off. At the same time, many Swedes today give higher priority to a holiday abroad than they did 5-10 years ago, and their experience at the airport is a very important part of the travel experience. In the future, they want food from all the corners of the world, the option of resting undisturbed in “sleep pods”, whisky tasting and more activities for children at the airport. These are the findings in the new survey, The Traveller, carried out by Swedavia in partnership with TNS Sifo, which polled 2,000 people who have flown on holiday over the past year, in order to map the views of Swedes concerning travel, holidaymaking and airports across the world.

The Traveller survey, which has now been carried out for the second year, reveals what choices Swedes make in conjunction with their holiday and how they behave prior to their trip. The 2013 report shows that well over a third, 41 per cent, feel they give higher priority today to a holiday abroad than they did 5-10 years ago.

“The experience and the longing for something special on their holiday mean that Swedes now value a holiday abroad more than they did a few years ago and give it higher priority. Many people also think it has become easier to travel. Almost one third of them indicate that they consider their holiday to be more important nowadays, in order to really relax, since they find there are greater demands to always be accessible in their everyday lives,” says Michael Persson Gripkow, chief commercial and marketing officer at Swedavia.

At the airport, passengers are happy and full of anticipation – more than seven out of ten think the atmosphere is important to the travel experience. And what people prefer to do at airports is to really socialise and chat with their travel companions, far removed from the need to be constantly connected in their everyday lives. A large majority also choose not to update their status on Facebook or Instagram when they are at airports.

The majority of respondents (55%) prefer to be at the airport at least an hour before their departure and almost four out of ten want to be there more than two hours in advance, in order to have time to shop and visit cafés, restaurants and bars.

“We see that an airport visit involves happiness and anticipation and that this plays an important role for travellers – the atmosphere, interior, service and offerings at the airports are an important part of the travel experience. Our airports of tomorrow should offer good deals on shopping, food from all the corners of the world and Swedish brands and design – but also more activities for families with children, the option of sleeping undisturbed for a bit in some kind of private ‘sleep pod’, and cultural experiences such as art exhibits,” Mr Persson Gripkow notes.

In addition to shopping and good food, Swedes think that a good airport atmosphere is characterised by clean, nice-looking premises, low sound levels, good information and ample seating. 

Download the full Traveller report here: (in Swedish only)

Findings from the Travellersurvey

·  The most common reason that people today give higher priority to a holiday abroad is that they want to experience something special (47%).

·  Older travellers (aged 50-64 and 65-79) are inspired by their previous travels in their choice of destination

·  36 per cent want to be at the airport at least 2 hours before their flight in order to shop, eat and soak up the atmosphere.

·  The predominant feeling for travellers when they get to the airport is anticipation,

·  Women pack a pen, medicine, chewing gum and cosmetics in their carry-on bag to a far greater extent than men. Men instead take a computer/iPad and condoms to a greater extent.

·  Women prefer to buy something to read (32%) and exclusive perfume (28%) at the airport. Men prefer to purchase alcohol, especially of better quality (40%).

·  More than one out of six men prefers to spend the time prior to departure in the bar, with this being the case especially for men aged 30-49 (22%).

·  Older men aged 65-79 prefer to have a cup of coffee with something sweet (26%).

·  Women would rather spend their time at the airport socialising and talking with their travel companions (23%).

·  Women also think it is important that airports try to be as environmentally-friendly as possible (86%).

·  Good deals on shopping and food from around the world are what travellers want most at airports.

·  23 per cent of respondents update their Facebook status or post an Instagram at the airport before their departure.

·  Paperback books are by far the most popular form of reading on a trip (54%) followed by newspapers/magazines (20%).

About the survey

This survey of the views of Swedes concerning travel, holidaymaking and airports across the world was conducted by TNS Sifo at the request of Swedavia. The respondents were randomly chosen individuals aged 18-79 and constitute a nationally representative sample. A total of 4,594 people took part in the web-based survey, which was carried out September 30-October 9, 2013. The results are based on the 2,000 people who responded “yes” to the question whether they had flown on holiday over the past year.

For further information, please contact:

Swedavia’s Press office, phone +46-10-10 90 100, or

Swedavia is a State-owned group that owns, operates and develops ten airports acrossSweden. Swedavia also ownsGöteborg City Airport and is a minority owner in the company that operates the airport. Our role is to create the access Sweden needs to facilitate travel, business and meetings – inSweden, in Europe and around the world. Safe, satisfied passengers are the foundation of our business. Swedavia is a world leader in developing airports with the least possible environmental impact. The Group has revenue of almost 5 billion Swedish kronor and some 2,600 employees.