Economy and digital payments bolster Scandinavian online travel market

Published December 2018 Analyst: Phocuswright Research


Economy and digital payments bolster Scandinavian online travel market

Scandinavia's well-deserved reputation as a safe travel destination continues to boost the region's travel market. Travel gross bookings are projected to increase to €16.7 billion in 2018, and rise 3% annually to reach €18.7 billion by 2022. Denmark, Norway and Sweden each rank among the top 15 countries worldwide in 2017 nominal per capita GDP, a strong indicator of the region's economic health. Overall, Nordic GDP grew 2% in 2017, ahead of the European Union, Japan and the United States. Unemployment has fallen in all three Scandinavian countries, although Sweden's unemployment rate stubbornly clings to 6.5%. Scandinavia has not been immune to some political unrest; both Sweden and Denmark have closed their borders in response to the high number of Middle Eastern refugees applying for asylum.

Phocuswright Chart: Scandinavia Online and Total Travel Market
(Click image to view a larger version.)

The number of foreign tourists traveling to Scandinavia has steadily increased, and Scandinavians themselves are crossing borders more often into their sister Nordic countries. Scandinavia's extensive network of government-run railways makes these types of trips easy and convenient.

Digital Payments
As a region characterized by widely scattered populations across a vast geography, Scandinavia is on the leading edge of the global digital transformation. Digital payments via card or app are universally accepted, particularly in Sweden and Norway where many people no longer carry cash. This trend toward a cashless society bodes well for the region's online travel market.

For a top-level overview of the Scandinavian travel market, including background, key characteristics, market structure, and major players and trends in each segment, get Phocuswright's recent travel research report – Scandinavia Online Travel Overview 2018 – or subscribe to Phocuswright Open Access.

For more detailed 2018 data and analysis, see the following related publications:

•   Scandinavia Online Travel 2018: Key Developments

•   Scandinavia Online Travel 2018: By the Numbers